Edges at the Seymour Centre
Written by Tony, Grammy, and Oscar-award winning duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, Dogfight, The Greatest Showman), Edges tells the stories of a group of young adults asking classic coming-of-age questions. A charming, witty and honest examination of adulthood, this song cycle explores what happens when we are teetering on the edges of our lives.
With songs covering universal issues as love, commitment, identity and meaning, come with these characters as they deal with confronting emotions, escaping expectations, deciphering complicated relationships, and ultimately asking the age-old questions of “who am I?” and more importantly, “who do I want to become?”. A show that could almost be considered the origin story for Broadway’s latest breakout songwriters, MUSE presents this raw, emotional, and gorgeously endearing musical.
Abbie spoke with actor Lucy Allen about what attracted her to this work and how changing the cast from 4 to 11 performers will change our experience of the show.
Read the full interview below:
Most people are familiar with Pasek and Paul’s recent successes of LA LA Land, Dear Evan Hansen and The Greatest Showman. Edges was one of their earlier works and many may not know this piece. Tell us about this piece and what the overriding themes and concepts are?
Edges is a cabaret song cycle that explores the human experience through personal glimpses into the lives of individuals. This collection of songs weaves in and out of different lives, exploring themes of identity, growth and relationships. Edges may be one of Pasek and Paul’s lesser known shows, but It is no exception to their brilliant work.
What was it that attracted you to this piece initially and what has the rehearsal process been like? How do you feel like you have developed along the way as an artist?
With such a fantastic score and great conceptual potential, it was hard not to be attracted to this show. As a song cycle, Edges brings something new to MUSE’s annual cabaret slot and I was excited to be part of this. The rehearsal process has involved a lot of one-on-one work as we’ve gotten to know our characters and songs and so the highlight has definitely been coming together for ensemble pieces and to perform for one another.
The talent in this cast is incredible. Each cast member brings something unique to the table and there’s nothing better than working alongside others to push you as an artist. I’ve also really enjoyed the process of building my character and paying attention to the small details and nuances that are so important in involving an audience in your story.
Do you have a favourite song or moment in the show and what is it that makes it so special?
My favourite song in the show would have to be Breathing, the closing number. This song is not only beautiful but provides a moment in which each of us, in our own journey reach a point of collective realisation; acceptance of the moment and trust in what is to come. So much of the show is spent in our separate worlds and I love that we get to come full circle and end the show together.
This is usually a four hander show that has been expanded to include a cast of 11 to sit within MUSE’s philosophy of included a large cast in their cabaret each year. Do you think it works with such a large cast and what can those who are used to the 4 hander version, get excited about with this grander production?
It’s not uncommon for Edges to be adapted for a larger cast and you know what they say, bigger is better. Our cast is definitely not ‘big’ in the traditional sense, but the adaption has provided an opportunity to abandon pre-defined roles and instead build our own. We’ve been able to bring something of ourselves to our characters and interpret songs in a way that breaks down the show’s narrative and roles. Instead of being invited into the lives of four people, our audiences will get to know eleven unique, humours and heartbreaking individuals.
What message do you hope that your audiences will take away from this performance?
There’s a moment for everyone in this show where you’ll go ‘that’s me’. It can be as confronting as it is comforting but the biggest takeaway is realising that no matter how much we want to control the uncontrollable, we often can’t. This show offers little in the way of conclusions and I’d like to think that audiences will leave the theatre imagining these lives and stories continuing on.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Monty Python’s Spamalot by One Eyed Man Production at the Hayes Theatre
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?
Dream role to perform?
Claire in Ordinary Days
Plays or musicals?
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
Yoga and anything creative. I’m currently hooked on crochet (pun intended) and am embracing my inner nanna.
What’s next for you after this show?
Nothing’s set in stone, however, I’m hoping to launch a podcast and keep my eyes peeled for the next theatrical adventure!
Edges opens at the Seymour Centre on 15th May 2019. You can get your tickets here.