Written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, Edges demonstrates tremendous promise. The piece feels too familiar with the ‘who-am-I-really?’ opening and the ‘it’s-gonna-be-all-right’ closing (with all the usual ‘does-s/he-love-me?’ stops along the way. Still, there is pleasure to be found in the superb compositional/lyrical craftsmanship employed by Pasek & Paul while treading this rather old ground.
The company work hard and their acting has real integrity. They are likeable, funny, warm, human, and terribly overwhelmed by the music. The songs are incredibly range-y and require much more technical skill than this otherwise engaging company of young performers can muster and that’s a shame.
Matt Woodgate who acts, sings and directs deserves praise for his creative staging (these kind of sung through pieces with little action can be very tricky). Benj Pasek, Justin Paul and the company are extremely well served by Oliver-John Ruthven, the company’s MD, whose lovingly felt and technically brilliant performance of the score and overall sensitivity to the piece was the musical treat of the night.
The promise of the writing team is heartening. The programme notes that they are currently working on two new musicals – we would all be wise to book our tickets now.