Cancelled: Sydney’s debut production of Next To Normal has been pulled


Ian Stenlake and Michelle Doak will star in Next To Normal. Image by Blueprint Studios
Out of a job: Ian Stenlake and Michelle Doake were set to star in Next To Normal at the Capitol Theatre. Image by Blueprint Studios

Sydney seems to be having a hard time with musicals this year.

An Officer and a Gentleman announced an early closing just weeks ago, Love Never Dies shortened it’s 20 week season to just 12 earlier this year, Rock Of Ages was cancelled before it arrived from Brisbane and now the much anticipated NSW Premiere of Next To Normal won’t be making it to the stage either.

Paul Jay of Newline Productions announced today that the production of Next To Normal which was set to open at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney on September 13 has been cancelled.

He explained the difficult decision in a statement:

“It’s with regret I have to make notification of the cancellation of Next to Normal in Sydney”, he said.

“Due to circumstances beyond my control I have had to make this gut wrenching decision.”

There had been concerns raised within the industry when Newline Prouductions announced it’s intention to mount the Sydney Premiere at the Capitol Theatre, due to its size and the intimacy of the production.

Tyran Parke and Kelley Abbey had been enlisted to direct and stage the production, while Ian Stenlake, Bobby Fox, Michelle Doake, Dash Kruck, Erica Lovell and Ross Hannaford had been announced as the cast for the production.

Melbourne’s Premiere production of Next To Normal took place at the Melbourne Theatre Company in 2010 starring Kate Kendall and Matt Hetherington, and the South Australian premiere production opened at the Opera Studio in May this year.

This is a devastating blow for all involved in the production, and it cannot be without heartache that the production has been pulled.

Graeme Kearns, General Manager of the Capitol Theatre says that the venue is now working to secure other productions to fill the gap left by Next To Normal.

“We now have a theatre to fill”, he told AussieTheatre this morning.

Perhaps the production will have a life in Sydney at another venue, at another time but until then, it’s the OBC recording for New South Welshmen.

Ticket holders should contact their original point of purchase to arrange a refund.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

8 thoughts on “Cancelled: Sydney’s debut production of Next To Normal has been pulled

  • I’m a big Musical fan
    l am getting so sick of all these show being full
    why dont you try putting them in smaller venues

    l really loved ROCK OF AGES
    and that got pulled also

    PLEASE give these show a go
    WHAT WRONG with you guys

    think about the actors and fans
    how we feel

    its going to get to a point WHERE there going to be NO Musical ever

  • Everybody in Sydney still maintain that SYDNEY IS THE MUSICAL CAPITAL OF AUSTRALIA and look what happens and that will also happen with LEGALLY BLOND, THE ADDAMS FAMILY etc etc etc. These new musicals will all have a SHORT RUN!

    • I’m getting really sick of you Ronald. You can’t even spell Legally Blonde correctly. Legally Blonde is actually a terrific show. I had no interest in it either originally because I hated the film, but I gave it a go and now it’s one of my favourite musicals. So my tips for you are 1) learn to spell/learn the English language, 2) get a life and stop commenting on every AT article, 3) give musicals a go before you slag them off constantly, 4) lay off the caps lock, 5) try being positive for once in your sad life. We are trying to save the theatre industry and idiots like you need to GTFO and STFU.

      • I have seen a lot of musicals in my life, a lot are very good and a few are very bad, when they are good, I do recommend them and about my spelling, it is not so bad for an european, at least I speak 4 languages fluently, how many languages do you speak?????.

        • Can I please remind everyone that personal attacks on this comment system will not be tolerated. They are meant for productive discourse and remarks, not slander.
          (Ronald, please feel free to comment on whichever AussieTheatre articles you wish).

          Please also remember that the internet is a global community.
          Thank you
          – Erin

      • I’m with you Ashley regarding previous correspondence – why the negativity? What a way to go through life! So disappointed that Next to Normal isn’t happening – but hadn’t realised tickets were available. However at this stage I’ve got Legally Blonde and Jersey Boys in Brisbane in the same month so perhaps it’s a case of too much choice? I would have thought one of the smaller theatres at the Opera House would be perfect for Next to Normal.

  • It’s a real shame Next to Normal musical got cancelled in Sydney. I was lucky enough to see this show in Melbourne in May last year and it was brilliant! It was a well written, interesting show with a really sad undercurrent about mental illness and its effects on family and loved ones. Hopefully this will see the light again – it deserves to be seen.


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