Edges is not a traditional musical; it is a show about four budding adults asking classic coming-of-age questions. This contemporary song cycle carries an honest voice, advocating introspection while maintaining wit and charm. The songs cover such traditional issues as love, commitment, identity, and meaning. Characters deal with confronting emotions, escaping expectations, and deciphering complicated relationships.
When walking into the Tabard theatre you are immediately met by the dark compact audience space juxtaposed with the open, beach setting, comprising of a pier at the back of the stage in front of a sand coloured back drop.
The direction of Edges was delivered well for the short time of the rehearsal period and the limited space of the theatre. The through-line of people coming of age, developing and finding themselves as a person, with a few tangent songs thrown in along the way, was conveyed cleverly through the use of specific coupling, solo interjections and song placement. Occasionally, the order of songs for a character would be somewhat contradicting, but on the whole the arrangement of music was well delivered.
The variety of styles of music Benj Pasek and Justin Paul created is your typical concoction of contemporary musical theatre songs, you have the comedy piece, up-lifting chorus number, foreshadowing song and the intermittent love ballad. Pulling upon elements of different compositional techniques, Paul accurately captures the different types of songs contemporary musicals/song cycles utilise, all of which are explicitly delivered through Edges.
Edges at the Tabard Theatre is rollercoaster of emotions for such a short show and a delightful evening well spent. Standout performances come from Christina Modestou for her heart-wrenching interpretation of ‘Lying There’, made prominent because of her focus of delivery throughout. Additionally, Rebecca Jayne-Davies due to her immaculate rendition of the song ‘Perfect’, exuding the sheer desperation and desire for someone was devastating to watch, resulting in her being awarded the second standout performance of the night.
Reviewed by Tom Yates
Edges is playing at the Tabard Theatre until 30 August 2014.