Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Nelson teens stage trailblazing musical

Nelson teens stage trailblazing musical

A musical about depression may sound like a weird mix, but it won a Pulitzer and three ‘Tony’ awards on Broadway in 2010 and now a Nelson drama school is bringing the show to the Suter Theatre.

Actor and drama teacher Tami Mansfield who runs the Off Broadway Performing Arts School is directing Next to Normal at the Suter on Jul 4-6. She says staging the show was her students’ idea.

They came to me and said ‘this is the musical we want to perform’,” she says. “They see it as important to share, especially in our culture – they want to show that with mental health issues people can get better. Other messages of the show are that no one is alone, we all have problems, it’s okay to talk about it - the cost of pretending is too high.”

Mansfield says she’s really impressed at the commitment and talent of her students and thrilled to have financial support from Nelson Mental Health Services with the cost of hiring the theatre. However, she says ticket sales are still to take off.

“This is a great show, it does have heavy themes, but it’s funny and the music is great,” she says. “These kids are so talented it will be an amazing show…everyone is putting so much work into it, we really don’t want people to miss it because we don’t have money to advertise. Nelson has been very good to us since we moved here so I’m optimistic that people will come along and help us to make this show happen.”

Next to Normal is about a couple who lose one of their children and can't cope. 16 years later, daughter Natalie takes a self-destructive path due to her parents’ neglect. She meets 16-year-old Henry, a ‘bit of a stoner’ who shows her love for the first time. Diana, her mother, has manic depression and their lives are consumed with pills, doctors, and hospital visits; while Dan, the father, ‘protects’ them from the conversations that actually need to happen. The result is shocking with some surprising and haunting twists.

Eighteen year old Natalie Davies plays Diana, a 43 year old mother and wife suffering from manic depression. She says the fact that something like this is being brought forward by kids, is extremely powerful, and shows something for our generation.

“We brought this show to Tami because we wanted to deliver the message that it is okay to talk about things that are hurting you, and that you don't have to ‘drink a glass of concrete and harden up’,” she says. “We are saying that sweeping feelings under the rug doesn't have the desired effect, and can hurt others as much as it can hurt you.”

Next to Normal pulls at all the feelings, with a heartbreakingly beautiful score and a brilliant and surprising story’ - Frank Rick, New York Times.

Next to Normal will be staged by Off Broadway, directed by Tami Mansfield at The Suter Theatre at 7pm Fri, Sat, and Sundayplus a 2pm matinee on Saturday. PG 13 is advised. Tickets at Everyman and at the door.

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Review - A Girl Named Mo

Moana Ete brought her three-piece band A Girl Named Mo to Wellington's intimate and iconic Bats Theatre last week for a five-night residency. Each show was recorded and filmed live for the release of her debut album 'Platonic/Romantic' on Loop records later this year. More>>

For The Birds: Who Will Be Crowned Bird Of The Year?

The competition involves well-known and enthusiastic New Zealanders acting as ‘campaign managers’ for their favourite birds with many going to great lengths to get New Zealanders to vote for their chosen bird... More>>


  • Image Out-Link - Giselle Clarkson on Twitter
  • Gordon Campbell: On Bob Dylan's Nobel (And The Surplus)

    So Bob Dylan has just won the Nobel Prize for… Literature? Wow. I’d be just as happy if he’d won for his work on particle physics (“One Grain of Sand”, “Simple Twist of Fate”) or got the Economics prize for his work on the theory of contracting (“Don’t Think Twice Its Alright”) ... More>>


    Scoop Review Of Books: Whose Goat Was That?

    Mysterious Mysteries of Aro Valley is a sharp, satirical and sometimes downright scary romp through and around that valley in ways that made me question the realities of the places I thought I knew so well. More>>


    NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

    Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


    Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

    Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


    Get More From Scoop



    Search Scoop  
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news