NEXT TO NORMAL

Published : 8:23 am  October 6, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (442) reads | 

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Theatre Junction, an English theatre company that has gained a reputation for presenting fresh and contemporary work in Colombo, presented its latest award winning Broadway musical titled Next to Normal on the 29th and 30th September and the 1st of October at the Lionel Wendt Theatre.

On its third day, the musical drew in a full house along with a few repeat audience members who were excited to catch the show for the second time. Next to Normal is a Broadway musical with lyrics courtesy of Brian Yorkey and music by Tom Kitt. The play starts out portraying a typical family of 4 with the dad rushing to work, the kids getting ready for school and the mom packing lunches and pouring cereal. However, the illusion of the perfect family is shattered when the mothers’ behaviour changes radically and the audience is made aware that she battles with manic depression and schizophrenia for over 16 years.

The story then follows a husband torn between what should be done to his wife and what’s best for her, a daughter learning to cope with her mother’s negligence and a mother struggling to let go of the past and be there for her family. The score for the musical, directed and conducted by Natasha Senanayake, was backed by a live band consisting of piano, drums, guitar, cello and violin that truly brought out the emotion within the play. Kudos to the cast of 6; Devashrie De Silva, Chrisantha De Silva, Damien Fernando, SitharaPathirana, Gyles Dharmaratne and Eraj Gunewardenafor playing their roles consistently to the very end and due credit must also be given for the lighting as it really set the ambience of the play.

Directed by Anushka Senanayake, Next to Normal was a musical that spoke of the unspoken and shed light to the issues we keep in the dark. An absolute eye opener! We spoke to the audience members and gathered their thoughts on the play;