The New Normal is a beautifully thought-provoking online play about life in a pandemic and all the trials and tribulations that it may bring.
The play, directed by Cathy Dixon, recaps on the year of 2020 through telling the story of several well-rounded yet relatable characters.
The production, which was performed over Zoom last weekend is set in Milan and London in the year of 2020. The performance starts with the Narrators who throughout the play take the roles of The New Normal news presenters. These two characters offer some light-hearted comedic relief throughout the performance, including a hilarious scene involving a 2 meter long tape measure! The two narrators almost play the role of good cop and bad cop as they struggle with interpreting what new guidelines mean and the overload of information they are given from the media.
The plays characters each explore the different challenges of quarantine life from job loss to declining mental health as we see very relevant themes of love, loss, and tragedy unfold. As the characters dreams are put on hold, they each go on a journey of self-discovery as they adapt to the new way of life.
The New Normal is only enhanced by being performed online and the director has done a brilliant job of bringing live performance to people’s homes in this current climate. The play is well adapted for being performed on Zoom and the integration of regular zoom therapy sessions and intimate phone calls amongst the characters really allows the audience to see inside each of the characters minds and understand how they are feeling and what struggles they are facing.
The ending of the play is extremely beautiful as each of the characters summarize their experience in the form of a positive affirmation or piece of advice surrounding how best to adapt and cope with the challenges that the play explores.
The cast are located all over the world performing from their own homes in London, New York and Milan. However, the clear intimacy and connection between the cast is not at all affected by the distance and is just as strong as you would expect from traditional performances where the actors are performing together on stage. In it’s own way this solidifies the message of the play surrounding the importance of human connection in these challenging times.
Full of twists and turns this play really does get you thinking about what is now ‘The New Normal’….
You can still get tickets to watch a recording of the live performance here.