SINGAPORE - Pangdemonium reigned at the Life! Theatre Awards ceremony yesterday afternoon.
The four-year-old theatre company led by theatre power couple Adrian and Tracie Pang proved the biggest winner. Their musical about dealing with mental illness, Next To Normal, bagged the Production of the Year and Production of the Year (Readers' Choice) awards.
Veteran thespian Adrian Pang also picked up the Best Actor prize for Rabbit Hole, a heartrending drama about a family coming to terms with the loss of a child.
In a touching acceptance speech, he thanked his wife Tracie - who directed both Next To Normal and Rabbit Hole - and his sons Zachary and Xander, both students at the School of the Arts.
In a nod to Rabbit Hole's subject matter of a recently bereaved family, he said: "A big shout-out to every family who is going through any kind of adversity. It's not easy, we all know this, and we all, in one way or another, go through s*** in our lives, but we pull through, we all pull through."
Another theatre company which had a good run at the 14th annual Life! Theatre Awards, held at The St Regis Singapore, was Nine Years Theatre, formed just two years ago. Its Mandarin adaptation of the US courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men won four of the 13 awards, including Best Director for Nelson Chia, and Best Supporting Actor for Johnny Ng.
For Chia, the award was an affirmation that his "crazy idea" worked. "I'm extremely happy because it wasn't easy trying to put the production together," he said.
"At the initial stages, it seemed like a crazy idea, trying to get 12 actors together, and it took a lot of trying to convince people. I must really thank the people around me, and commend them for their courage in believing in us."