Travel with Mum: More than a Lesson in Filial Piety


The Nonsensemakers, a well established independent theatre company from Hong Kong combine masks, music and body movements with cleverly selected props and sand (!), in their acclaimed stage play Travel with Mom to re-tell the real life story of a 74-year-old son who chauffeured his 99-year-old mother on a shaky tricycle from north to south across China on an incredible odyssey that spans 30,000 kilometres and 900 days.

Most of us are acquainted with the film genre in which the protagonists set out on a road trip, only to have their personal perspective on life altered as a result. However, few (if any) have undertaken such an epic journey at such an advanced age. Filial devotion may be the prime motive, but one suspects, not the only one.

On the whole, Travel with Mum brims with wit and humour without resorting to sentimentalism. Five years have passed since its debut in 2013 but the play still offers much food for thought, all the more so today when time spent with loved ones is such a rare commodity.

Along the arduous journey, the mother and son duo in Travel with Mum have more than their fair share of struggles, but still they soldier on with the knowledge that even if they cannot reach Tibet, their Shangri-la is already in their hearts.

The determination they show is itself immensely touching and thought-provoking. The play also allows audiences to contemplate from various angles on how people get along with one another and although we might all have our own interpretation on this remarkable journey, what matters the most is we must have empathy for others.

Travel with Mum

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