What is the Play About?

The play follows the journey of shunned Irish woman, Kathleen Kerr, to New Zealand.

The first half of "Cloud Mother" deals with the grueling 118-day sea journey from England to New Zealand. All is effectively documented: from the extreme desperation of exasperating heat and no wind to fill the sails, to the personal dynamics of the passengers who are forced to spend four months together "trapped" on the boat.

The only bonding factor between all the passengers is the hope and anticipation of a new life, in a new land that they know nothing about.

The second half focuses on the struggle of the pioneers to adapt to life in the new land. They do not belong in this different place. Dreams and hopes are shattered, and the Europeans strive to recreate their own country and culture in order to survive.

Alone, Kathleen Kerr triumphs. "Back home around the fire they'd be sitting and wondering where their wayward daughter would be gone. Or maybe not wondering at all."



"Cloud Mother is an astonishing example of quality theatre."
CANTA (University of Canterbury)

"If cloud is the central and sustaining image in this play it is cloud with a silver lining. Indeed, to go further, it is pure theatrical gold. Bruce Goodman is an experienced playwright, and it is his experience which shows throughout, for he pulls off an ambitious project. An epic is told with sparse facilities. The tale departs from traditional narrative, and the cast mounts a stunning montage of dance, tableau, poetry and voice-overs intercut with slice-of-life dialogue that is credible, humorous and haunting. It is entertaining and compelling theatre."
The Christchurch Press

"Cloud Mother is profoundly moving and deeply satisfying. It is a piece of work that transcends the sum of its parts. It appears deceptively simple, and yet it is a stunning achievement."
The Christchurch Shakespeare Festival Trust

Read an Extract
Download a Copy
Apply for a Licence to Perform

River Songs
Sheer Silence
The Pearl of York
Here Legends Lie
Fishbone in the Blancmange