They look like any other normal family: a father as breadwinner, a mother as caretaker, a deadbeat son, and an overachieving daughter. But this family is working hard to hide their grief and gain control over their mother’s spiralling mental health. Next to Normal is a musical about coming to terms with the past and finding a middle ground everyone can feel steady on.
Comedy cabaret duo Alice Tovey and Ned Dixon bring their show Mansplaining to Sydney to tackle that issue bigger than most: the patriarchy. In equal parts sincerity and irony, this show is about laughing while men interrupt you and finding the reasoning within internet trolls.
Carousel sells itself as a misunderstood love story: Julie, a respectable yet unusual girl, falls in love with the rough-around-the-edges Billy, a carousel barker with a seedy background. Things are difficult from the beginning as Billy takes out his anger and paranoia around marriage on Julie, until he eventually hits her. In a money-making scheme gone wrong, Billy unexpectedly dies and is given the chance for a redemption arc that requires a supernatural element.
Tom Stoppard’s work is a popular choice for university students for the way it balances absurdity and humour with social and cultural criticism. It’s something you can invite your tutorial group and your parents to! Arcadia is perhaps less popular than The Real Inspector Hound or Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, but it’s equally fun in the overlapping intrigues of literature, sex, and an illusive hermit.
This year has seen a number of staged examinations of domestic violence and violence against women in time with the #MeToo movement and a global recognition of the violence and abuse faced by so many women. Steve Rodgers’s new work fragments his examination across four different stories. The unnamed cast trace three violent relationships from meeting to testifying and illustrate the often subtle ways power is abused to sometimes deadly ends.
Every year the Enmore Theatre hosts Celebrity Theatresports with Impro Australia to raise funds for charity. This year, there were raffles, prizes, and performances in support of CanTeen Australia. Australia’s favourite celebrities including Broadway singers, comedians, and actors join up with Sydney’s best improv talent to compete for the Celebrity Theatresports cup! It’s all fun and games for a great cause.
Anna is 18 and, while she hasn’t gone to uni or really figured out a plan at all, she wants to take control of her life. Part of this includes no longer taking the medication she’s been on for her entire adolescence in order to reclaim an earlier, more authentic version of herself. This isn’t a decision just for her, though, as a new boyfriend, her mother, and her long-term psychiatrist complicate the practicalities of mental health and being unwell.