Understudy Productions debuted their inaugural production of Edges: A Song Cycle last night at Metro Arts in the Brisbane CBD.
Edges is a collection of songs written by American contemporary music theatre composers, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, of Smash and Dogfight fame. It explores and reflects on the challenges of graduating high school and college, along with commenting on both the heartaches and more humorous experiences that twenty-somethings experience.
This production, directed by Ian Good, starred six of Brisbane’s most talented and established performers. With a song cycle, the challenge lies in intertwining all the individual numbers into one unified setting. The choice to set the show with six friends catching up on a beach was clever and also cemented this show as being set in Australia.
This song cycle is originally set in America, so it was a bold choice to have the actors sing the songs in their natural accents. As an Australian audience, it may have felt slightly bizarre to hear our own accent reflected on stage, especially for those who were already familiar with the American cast recording. Whilst this choice caused some small issues in continuity for a few numbers that referred to iconic American locations, I still applaud this decision. As a community, we must support works that tell Australian stories, and so, I hope to see more of this in the future.
It isn’t often that every person in a production holds their own whilst still joining together seamlessly as an ensemble, but I take my hat off to this company. Alexander Woodward, Dominic Woodhead, Luke Hodgson, Pia Frangiosa, Stephanie Long and Danika Saal all shared tender moments while simultaneously making the audience fall into fits of laughter. A special mention must be given to the multi-talented Dominic Woodhead, who effortlessly played numerous instruments and sung as well as musically directing the show.
The band, that included Dominic Woodhead,Tom Collins and Nick Woodhead, played the score with precision and ease. Bravo!
Edges: A Song Cycle was a magnificent debut for Understudy Productions and I am extremely excited to see what they do next.
Where: Metro Arts, 109 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4001
When: July 20 – 23, 2016
Tickets: Adults $36.50 / Concession $29.50
Written by Jackie Turner