$36 - $72
Book and Lyrics by
Musical Direction by
On the surface they are the perfect loving family.
Underneath it all, they are struggling to navigate their way through life. Despite all the doctors, Diana’s mental health is worsening. Dan’s biggest concern is helping his wife to return to ‘normal’, whilst Natalie just wants to finish high school unscathed.
A multi-award-winning rock musical, Next To Normal will have you asking yourself what ‘normal’ actually looks like.
“Moving audiences from cheers to tears and back again”
- 17 June 2023: Opening night
- 19 June 2023: Forum - a special performance where audiences get to ask cast and crew questions after the show
- 20 June 2023: $25 Thrifty Tuesday, on sale 9:30am Friday 16 June 2023
- 22 July 2023: Matinee performance at 2pm
- 22 July 2023: Closing night
Earlybird Standard Use Promo Code CONNECT to unlock $39 tickets when purchasing two or more Standard, Senior, or Friends price tickets $39 Adult $65 $72 Senior (65+) $59 $65 Friends of The Court Theatre $56 $62 Group (6+) 10% Discount* Child (under 18) $36 Student ID cardholders $36 Community Services or Hāpai Access cardholders $36 *Applies to Standard Adult, Friends, Child and Senior price tickets
"It is in the collaborative impact of music, action and a transformed stage here in Christchurch that makes this production a resounding triumph for me."
"Next To Normal is a show that places big demands on its performers and this is a banger of a cast; all killer, no filler."
Naomi van den Broek
"Recommended. Go see it."
"This is a full on theatre experience involving dramatic storyline, intense performances, electrifying musical numbers, beautifully presented visual images and a multilayered set. "
Henry; Understudy Gabe
Standby Dan and Doctor
Production and Lighting Designer
Production and Lighting Designer
Assistant Musical Director
Assistant Stage Manager | Sound Assistant
Multi-Award-Winning Rock Musical Next to Normal Warms up Christchurch Winter
One of Broadway’s most celebrated contemporary musicals is set to impress Ōtautahi Christchurch audiences when Next to Normal, by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, opens at The Court Theatre on 17 June.
Winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama and nominated for 11 TONY awards (winning three, including Best Original Score), Next to Normal stands out in the musical theatre canon, not only for its virtuosic score, but for the layered depiction of mental illness which is at the centre of this family drama.
Described as a “feel everything musical” (New York Times), Next to Normal focusses on one family whose members are each struggling to deal with past and present griefs. Diana, the mother and wife in the family, is bipolar. As she and her family endeavour to find that elusive ‘cure’, her struggle to be ‘normal’ profoundly affects all those around her.
Next to Normal is directed by Broadway and West-End star, Hayden Tee (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Takatāpui), with musical direction by Richard Marrett. Tee saw the original production in New York in 2008 and “fell in love with it.” The show is complex and challenging, containing moments that are in turn poignant and humorous, and Tee is relishing the opportunity to finally bring this story and its music to Christchurch audiences (Next to Normal was originally planned for 2022 but rescheduled due to Covid).
Next to Normal has been praised both for its nuanced depiction and destigmatisation of neurodiversity, and for the way it brings to life the feelings and internal life of its characters. It also contains a lot of humour amidst the serious subject matter. This has ensured its continued to resonance for countless audiences all over the world. The focus on family is what makes the show relatable, says Tee. “Really, this is a story about people and family, and absolutely everyone can relate to that.”
The emotional complexity of the family’s struggles is conveyed through a modern rock music score that Tee describes as “exceptional” and Musical Director Richard Marrett describes as “stunning.” It is “achingly beautiful. Sad, incredibly complex and hopeful” Marrett says, adding that “musically, Next to Normal would rate amongst the top shows written in the last 15 years. It’s front and centre of musical theatre lovers’ favourites.”
Tee notes that a story centred on a female protagonist who is a mother of two teenagers is also a relatively untold perspective. “That’s not a person we often get in musical theatre” he says. Playing the pivotal role of Diana is Juliet Reynolds-Midgley, an actress and singer of jazz, classical, pop and music theatre who is well-known to Christchurch audiences. Juliet was last onstage in Flagons and Foxtrots at The Court Theatre in 2022. Playing her husband Dan is Darryl Lovegrove, an original cast member of the Australian seasons of Les Miserables and Chess, and perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jesus in the Australian and New Zealand tours of Jesus Christ Superstar.
Many of the other members of the cast are also local, and all, says Tee, are “extraordinary” performers. Collectively they have been involved in national, Australasian and international productions. They include Juan Jackson (international productions of RENT, Miss Saigon and The Rocky Horror Show (as Frank 'N' Furter); Joel Granger (McKinley in the recent Book of Mormon tour of New Zealand); Laurel Gregory (currently in Appropriate at The Court Theatre) and George Hiku (Madagascar the Musical New Zealand tour 2021).
For those who might have seen Next to Normal before, Tee promises that his approach will be fresh, amazing and - in the right places - just a little bit sexy. Unusually for a musical, Marrett and his fellow musicians - “a rock band, with strings” - will also be located on different parts of the stage, rather than seated together. They will rely on technology to ensure that they play cohesively.
While some of the exact terminology surrounding Diana’s diagnosis has changed since the time of writing, Next to Normal has retained its relevance because questions around mental health and wellbeing are universal to the human experience and one “that we can all lean into” says Tee. “Everyone now has a point of reference to this. Mental health and its challenges are just as normal as any other lived experiences.”
Next to Normal runs at The Court Theatre 17 June – 22 July 2023
“…a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation in knowing where it hurts.” New York Times
Next to Normal is included in your Super Subscription, or you can bundle it with at least two other shows to Build Your Own subscription.
If you want more Drama in your life, you could create a Drama Lover’s Subscription with:
- Be Like Billy
- The Haka Party Incident
Add on - Sweet Science of Bruising (Performed by our Youth Company)
If you love music in your theatre, you could create a Music Lover’s Subscription with:
- Be Like Billy
- Something Rotten!
Add on – Frozen JR. (Family)
Covid – Your Booking is Safe with Us
To minimise the impact of possible Covid-related closures we employ understudies and swings for our cast and have contingencies to cover essential crew absences.
However, if a performance is affected by Covid and cannot go on, you will not lose out. We will attempt to rebook you to another performance in the show’s season or, if that is not possible, we can explore other options with you such as Court account credits or transferring your tickets to another show.
There are currently no Covid-related restrictions on attending The Court Theatre. However, as always, we encourage you to be mindful of good hygiene, for the sake of your own health, and that of other members of the audience, our cast, crew and staff.
If a show is cancelled:
- Performances most immediately impacted will be texted – to ensure that your details are up-to-date for this purpose, please log into your account (top right on our web pages) and review them now.
- Emails will be sent to all patrons affected outlining the dates of affected performance and the process that will follow to rebook. Typically this will be:
- rebooking your seats for the same night of the week within the following two weeks,
- endeavouring to book you into a similar spot in the auditorium, if possible.
- We telephone anyone we cannot contact via email.
- Your new booking will be emailed to you. If you require further changes, please email us.
We ask people not to phone our Box Office but rather to email us with special requests – this is easier for the team to handle when dealing with significant rebookings.
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