Pangdemonium and Nine Years Theatre win big at Life! Theatre Awards

Next To Normal, a play by Pangdemonium Productions. The 14th annual Life! Theatre Awards took place on Monday at The St. Regis Singapore, and honoured the best of Singapore theatre last year. -- FILE PHOTO: PHILIP ENGLEHEART 
Next To Normal, a play by Pangdemonium Productions. The 14th annual Life! Theatre Awards took place on Monday at The St. Regis Singapore, and honoured the best of Singapore theatre last year. -- FILE PHOTO: PHILIP ENGLEHEART 

The 14th annual Life! Theatre Awards took place on Monday at The St. Regis Singapore, and honoured the best of Singapore theatre last year.

The biggest winner of the afternoon was Pangdemonium, whose musical about dealing with mental illness, Next To Normal, bagged both the Production of the Year and Production of the Year (Readers' Choice) awards.

The latter award, which is sponsored by OCBC Bank, is decided by an online poll, and readers who cast their vote stood a chance to win a night's stay at The St. Regis Singapore, as well as dinner for two at the hotel's restaurant, Brassiere Les Saveurs. The total value of the prize is $1,330.

The prize was won by Marcus Lee, 22, who is currently a full-time national serviceman.

Pangdemonium also picked up the Best Actor prize for Adrian Pang in Rabbit Hole, a heart-wrenching drama about a family coming to terms with the loss of a child.

Theatre company Nine Years Theatre also did well, with their Mandarin adaptation of the American courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men winning four of the 12 awards decided on by a judging panel, including Best Director for Nelson Chia and Best Supporting Actor for Johnny Ng.

The six judges were: Lasalle College of the Arts provost Venka Purushothaman, independent practitioner Low Kee Hong, head of artistic development (theatre) at the West Kowloon Cultural District, co-editor of the online arts journal The Flying Inkpot Matthew Lyon, and arts reviewers from The Straits Times, The Business Times and Lianhe Zaobao: Corrie Tan, Helmi Yusof and Tang Hwa Kwee.