Rise again with rock comedy

AJ Lowe plays Alan in the thought-provoking comedy Merry Go Round, played out to a background of rock music.
AJ Lowe plays Alan in the thought-provoking comedy Merry Go Round, played out to a background of rock music.

The production uses classic Australian rock songs to tell the story of Alan who is trying to get his life back on track after a suicide attempt.

He is sent to a therapy group led by the ever-cheerful Tim and a band of different characters.

Merry Go Round is about beating depression, asking for help, rising above adversity and showing that people who have mental illnesses are pretty much the same as the rest of us,’ Vreedenburgh said.

‘My inspiration to write the show came from my own experiences living with depression, as well as learning about how other people deal with discussing it.

‘I’ll talk to anyone about my experiences, but I’ve found there are people who still don’t understand mental illness and think it’s a taboo topic, happy to sweep it under the carpet.’

Vreedenburgh said she originally wrote all the music for the show, but then realised it would not appeal to her target audience of ‘blokey, Aussie men who are unlikely to go to the theatre’.

‘It hit me that Aussie pub rock might work, so I went about finding Aussie tracks that would fit in to the story of the show and Merry Go Round was born,’ she said.

She said it was a challenge to balance the seriousness of the subject with the right amount of humour, but she hoped the performance would ‘take audiences on a whirlwind of emotions, leaving them happy and positive’.