Phoenix Ensemble presents Next To Normal
Winner of three Tony Awards and the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
Fresh off their hugely successful season of The Wedding Singer, Phoenix Ensemble now present the Pulitzer Prize winning phenomenon Next To Normal from April 22nd.
A dramatic musical, Next To Normal explores the lives of a typical suburban family – Dan is an architect, Di makes lunches and pours cereal; their children are bright, wise-cracking teens. Yet all is not as it seems. Di suffers from bipolar disorder and has been battling depression for 16 years. Set to a terrific rock score, the story explores with sympathy and heart the lives of the whole family, their trials, their joys, their loves and their losses.
“It’s such a relevant story,” says director David Harrison. “There’s not one of us who’s lives aren’t affected in some way by mental illness and this production does a terrific job of exploring this.” Praised for its balanced take on what is delicate subject matter, Next To Normal finds a way for audience members to relate to the characters on stage in a very personal way.
The show has been stripped back from its flashy Broadway veneer, and is being presented in a simple set yet cleverly staged format – in the round. Not often seen for musicals, David suggests that audience members will feel a sensation that will perhaps be once in a lifetime for some. “Staging this show in the round in the already intimate Pavilion Theatre became an obsession for me. The subject matter of the show is so close, so heartfelt, that I wanted the audience to have an experience that they can carry with them always. Staging it this way brings them so much closer to the actors -you will see all those little details a larger production can’t show. The facial expressions, the tears in the eyes. It will be an experience that many may not see again and I hope that everyone appreciates the vulnerability the cast are allowing themselves to display.”
Speaking of which, the show has a stellar cast of talented performers from around South East Queensland, including Adam Bartlett, Michelle Dagan, Christopher Batkin and Jackie Turner. “Working with these amazing performers has been a complete gift and the work they do, the
talent, the rawness – it’s simply brilliant to watch,” says David. “They’re an amazing group and we are incredibly fortunate to have this calibre of performer here in Queensland!”
Pavilion Theatre, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James Street, Beenleigh
Friday 22 April 7:30pm
Friday 29 April 7:30pm
Friday 6 May 7:30pm
Friday 13 May 7:30pm
Saturday 23 April 7:30pm
Saturday 30 April 2:00pm Matinee Performance
Saturday 30 April 7:30pm
Saturday 7 May 7:30pm
Saturday 14 May 7:30pm
(07) 3103 1546
Tickets from $28