“If your photo`s sexy then I might give you a poke”
I approached Pasek and Paul’s song cycle Edges with something of a little trepidation. Swimming against the critical tide somewhat, I was disappointed by their Dogfight and the Union’s production of See Rock City… reiterated the difficulties in nailing the song cycle format but regardless, I made the trip to Turnham Green to the Tabard, a theatre I don’t visit often enough for the UK professional premiere of Edges.
And I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, finding it the most satisfying out of the shows mentioned above. Adam Philpott’s production is simple – four twenty-somethings head out to the beach for the afternoon and just sing about life and love and Facebook and friends, trying to figure out some of the trials of young adulthood and the difficulties in finding your own place in a world that won’t stop to let you catch your breath.
As a song cycle, it doesn’t have a strong narrative thread running through it, so it is testament to the skills of the company of four that we can trace something of an emotional journey through the leaps and bounds that the score sometimes asks us to make (Philpott’s initial set-up is perhaps a little disingenuous here). But from bitter kiss-offs to exes through heartbreak, soul ache and frat-boy humour, plus an ode to social media which may have dated but still remains true, there’s much to enjoy.
Rebecca Jayne-Davies works a nice vein of pragmatic quirkiness, and Luke Street and Thomas Henson have their moments as the slightly under-developed male characters. The show really does belong to Christina Modestou though, her captivating vocal performance being a real highlight that demands the full attention, even in the well-pitched group numbers. There’s another week of the run left so I’d recommend the trip to see one of the better US imports around at the moment.
Running time: 65 minutes (without interval)
Booking until 30th August
Labels: Benj Pasek, Christina Modestou, Justin Paul, Luke Street, Rebecca Jayne-Davies, Thomas Henson