Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Composers Pasek and Paul are two of the latest emerging musical theatre composers from the US. The youngest ever winners of the Jonathon Larson award in 2007, the pair have provided a beautiful score to ‘Edges’, a song cycle themed on the problems of 20-somethings touching upon relationships, family, college experience, and fear of the unknown. Truthful and relatable, this show is a refreshing way to spend an hour.
As far as musical theatre goes this year, you could do a lot worse than Edges. A piece of new writing from award winning composers Pasek and Paul, the show has a lovely score, and a pleasing theme, and the performers do a very good job of bringing the music to life with a touching sincerity.
The score and the theme are what stand out with this show. Strongly reminiscent of Jason Robert Brown (at some points some of the pianos fills seem directly lifted from his work), the show makes for some lovely listening. In fact if you were to merge ‘Songs for a New World’, with Company, taking out the more quirky songs and lowering the age group by a decade, you’d have the right idea. As you might expect from this, it makes for really lovely listening and some truly touching moments.
On a performance level things are similar. The performers are from Bristol University, and their voices are on the whole very pleasant, although untrained. As with pretty much every student group at this point in the fringe, a couple seem to be suffering from having to project night after night in a heavily curtained venue, but all in all, especially when singing together, they make a lovely sound, and are clearly enjoying themselves. As well as this, and perhaps as a benefit of being untrained, there is a pleasing realism in their performances that affected many in the audience, and made the show a refreshing offering amid the rest of the fringe musical theatre scene.
As a result, I was glad to have caught this show, and would recommend it to any lover of musical theatre – or indeed anyone who wrongly thinks the genre is solely about high-kicks and jazz hands.