By Benj Pasek & Justin Paul. Adelaide Fringe. Irregular Productions. The Parks Theatre, Angle Park. 7 March - 11 March, 2018.

Looking for a genuinely pleasurable, easy-going time in the theatre, but one that doesn’t skimp on emotional substance or musical quality, and which serves as a showcase for professional-level performers? Of course you are! Which is why Edges is such a cinch to recommend.

Technically this is a song cycle, but the deft staging and superb ensemble acting bring it very close to being a piece of sung-through musical theatre. Whatever label you want to place on this brilliant production of Edges, it’s a winner every which way.

Anyone familiar with the past stage work of Millicent Sarre, Casmira Hambledon, Mitchell Smith, and Scott Reynolds – musical or otherwise – will come to this show with high expectations which, thankfully, are more than met. All four display enormous levels of energy and empathy in their roles of regular young people looking to make their way in the world.

Musicians Peter Johns, Louis Cann, and Max Ziliotto bring expertise, sensitivity, and stamina to a show that requires their contribution virtually non-stop for 75 minutes. Cambell Lawrence’s audio was well-balanced and effective for the most part, while set design smartly allowed for the necessary versatility in staging.

Director Ellis Dolan, himself a noted performer who welcomes the audience with his own vocal talents as drinks are ordered and seats are taken, can be justifiably proud of what he and his team have achieved. Hats off to theatre groups who are prepared to introduce lesser-known works to Adelaide audiences, rather than simply dusting off something ‘tried-and-true’.

Edges is a genuine highlight of this year’s Adelaide Fringe, and one that you really should treat yourself to.

Anthony Vawser

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