What is Normal Anyway?
Good theatre makes you laugh and cry, and this one might have you using up a few extra tissues. Tackling the highly stigmatized topic of mental illness, Langham Court Theatre’s Next to Normal shows us an intimate and at times comical peek inside the rollercoaster world of a mother’s struggle with bipolar and the tremorous shocks it unleashes on all of her family members. Lifting us to the high mountains of mania and then pulling us into the devastating valleys of depression, this rock musical will leave you torn wide open.
Portraying the subjective experience of mental illness is nothing short of difficult, yet the production masterfully visualizes the mother’s experience of grief and psychosis. At times we aren’t sure which reality is the most real. It seems everyone in the family is spiraling down into their own illusions, yet beneath the pain and frustration and despair is a core of immense caring, strength, and love. A must see for all Victorians. Next to Normal will not only educate, but perhaps push the boundaries of the human heart.
Next to Normal plays at the Langham Courth Theatre in Victoria until October 15th, 2016.
Author, Robyn Thomas