Tiny Beautiful Things

TBT-Mandy-McElhinneyQueensland Theatre presents Academy Award nominee Nia Vardalos’ (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) hit adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times bestselling book Tiny Beautiful Things to the Queensland stages for the first time ever.

Co-conceived by Vardalos, Marshall Heyman and Tommy Kail, the Director of Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Hamilton, Tiny Beautiful Things shares the story of Sugar, an online anonymous advice columnist.

Amid the clutter of family life, Sugar receives emails from strangers urgently needing help navigating the contradictions and complexities of life. Replying with candor and her own tough, sweet brand of unadulterated advice, Sugar offers a path to healing and catharsis for her recipients.

“When I first read Tiny Beautiful Things, I was absolutely engulfed by emotion. There was this epistolary exchange of emotions between two people trading confidence and touching each other through typeface. It was just an incredible experience to read,” said Vardalos.

“One thing that really surprised me about Tiny Beautiful Things is when I realised the letters are real and the author, Cheryl Strayed, is really Sugar.”

“She was opening up and revealing her life. It gives a groundedness to these stories. The details of our lives might be different, but we’ve all struggled with our identities or our familial ties,” said Vardalos.

Mandy McElhinney (The Tempest, The Glass Menagerie), best known for television roles in Love Child and Wakefield, will make her Queensland Theatre debut in the lead role of Sugar, while Stephen Geronimos (Boy, Lost, Diving for Pearls) takes on the role of Letter Writer #1.

Sepi Burgiani (Family Values, Money And Friends) will return to the Bille Brown Theatre stage for the second time this year, following her performance as Saba in Family Values, stepping into the role of Letter Writer #2 and Nic Prior (Oedipus, Well That’s Oz) will take on the role of Letter Writer #3.

Directed by Queensland Theatre’s Artistic Director Lee Lewis, Tiny Beautiful Things is set to offer our creatives the opportunity to tap into a moving work whose soul is universal.

“The heart at the centre of Tiny Beautiful Things is that these are real stories from real people, who are struggling through moments in their lives that we can all relate. This production is an opportunity for Australian creatives to make their mark on these universal stories,” said Lewis.

Sharing her excitement for Tiny Beautiful Things’ debut in Queensland, Vardalos feels an honest connection to the humour and culture of the sunshine state.

“I’ve always had such a special connection with Australia and I’m really excited about the play coming to Australia because we have such a kinship with Canada, where I grew up. We share this irony that runs through both Australian and Canadian senses of humour,” said Vardalos.

Tiny Beautiful Things
Bille Brown Theatre – Queensland Theatre, 78 Montague Road, South Brisbane
Season continues to 8 July 2023
Information and Bookings: www.queenslandtheatre.com.au

Image: Mandy McElhinney stars in Tiny Beautiful Things (supplied)