The Normal Heart takes Adelaide audience back to AIDS crisis frontline

The Normal Heart State Theatre Company Adelaide
Mitchell Butel and Ainsley Melham. Image: Matt Loxton

As the 40th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic approaches, The Normal Heart asks Adelaide audiences to reflect on a dark period of history. 

Written by Larry Kramer,  the Tony Award-winning play is based on his own experiences in 1980s New York.

The Normal Heart documents Kramer’s attempts to alert the government and media about the disease that would go on to kill 39 million people.

Documenting the late activist’s time on the frontline of the crisis, The Normal Heart will have its Adelaide debut under the direction of Helpmann Award winner Dean Bryant.

The State Theatre Company South Australia Artistic Director and four-time Helpmann Award winner Mitchell Butel will take on the lead role of Ned.

‘The Normal Heart explores what an adventure it is to be alive.’

Dean Bryant said directing the play, which he discovered during his drama school days, was a dream come true.

“I can’t remember why I pulled The Normal Heart off the library shelf at drama school. But from my first read, I had to bring it to life.” he said.

“It was probably my first exposure to a romance between two men that was taken seriously.

“As well, the idea that people like me – young, gay men who had felt like such outsiders – could join to demand their right to live, and to have the disease that was killing them off in their prime taken seriously.

“Every time I come back to the play, and it’s been over 20 years now, the sheer rush of the story gets me. I tear up, I laugh, I get angry again.

“The Normal Heart is a play that explores what an adventure it is to be alive.”

‘Audiences will be deeply moved, inspired and galvanised’

Mitchell Butel says he is delighted to bring Kramer’s groundbreaking play to a new generation.

“I think audiences will be deeply moved, inspired and galvanised by this play, canvassing how they could be better humans and better activists in their own lives in areas where they see discrimination or neglect or failure of governance,” he said.

“They will be enriched by the great show of humanity in the work. That despite the challenges, what rises most from the piece is that love and support and care and compassion are the things that will save us as a species.”

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse

Date: 30 Sep-15 Oct 2022

For more information visit The State Theatre Company 

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Sarah Davison
Sarah Davison

After working in print and radio, Sarah has joined the team at QNews to expand their coverage into South Australia. Sarah has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, and a Masters in Journalism, Media, and Communications. Get in touch:

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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