Stacey Henderson

Near-Death Experience

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Near-Death Experience debuts at The Basement Theatre 31st Jul-4th Aug. Written and directed by Natalie Medlock, and starring Amanda Tito, Bronwyn Bradley, Peter Hambleton and Fasitua Amosa.

Tabby has a near-death experience. She falls in love with a chicken-headed God called Carl Jung. Alas, Tabby is resuscitated but she is determined to return to her love. Her divorced parents come together to care for her, and through this, navigate their own love story. A tragic comedy that triumphs over despair.

This play delves into the aspects of mental health that aren't often featured in the media. In lieu of a sad girl in black, you have a story that sometimes makes you laugh, makes your mind twist, makes you afraid and gives you hope.

Created and produced from the lens of those who have lived experience with mental illness, Near-Death Experience is a real roller-coaster.

The Director/Writer

Near-Death experience is written and directed by Natalie Medlock. It is largely based on her own lived experience with anxiety and depression. 

"I wrote Near Death Experience when I was house-sitting two schnauzers in Melbourne. I was very alone, highly medicated and mental. It's a real exploration of my existential crisis: What is the point in life? This thought can be, as I understand it, liberating, that is if you're not plagued by crippling anxiety and your heart and body doesn't feel like it is made of stone."

Natalie is a graduate of Toi Whakaari. You might recognise her from her stint on Shorty, her many shows with Silo, or you might have seen her buying tea at Ponsonby Countdown. Nat is a phenomenal writer, recently penning No Holds Barred (with Dan Musgrove and Michael Hurst), Christ Almighty (with Dan Musgrove) and The Pact (on voluntary euthanasia). She is obviously no stranger to unpacking some of the topics other people shy away from. 

Near-Death Experience is no exception. "As well as a deeply personal exploration of depression, the play follows the mother and father as they tear apart and come back together as they care for and despair over their daughter. This is as much about how people relate to and deal with the depressed."

The Team

It continues to blow my mind that even with no money/Nat doing her best to bankroll this play, people keep putting up their hand to help us put this show on. I met Natalie through the amazing team at The Basement. As soon as I saw the first read through, I knew I had to be a part of telling this story. It's funny, it's wild, it's heartbreaking.

Watching Bronwyn Bradley and Peter Hambleton read across from each other, as Tabby's desperate parents, was raw for me. I feel like it will be raw for anyone who has watched the process of parents trying to lift their child out of depression. Amanda Tito is fearless, and her portrayal of Tabby is bold, complex and beautiful.

Once I watched the actors reading across the table, I was desperate to see this play on it's feet, under lights and with an audience of people thinking about Natalie's words.

That's where we need your help.

The Reality

We really want to pay the actors, get an audio and lighting operator, pay APRA so we don't get sued, and pay Dan Williams to create a GIANT chicken head for Fasitua to wear as he plays our Greek God - Carl Jung. Feathers are expensive... 

We want to build a set, print some posters and buy costumes. But we cannot do this alone...

Please help us tell this story. We would really appreciate your support and donations no matter the size. Every dollar takes us a step closer to getting this story onto the stage.

Arohanui,

Stacey (producer)