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Review: Edges @ Lichfield Garrick Studio

Well there’s Broadway, there’s off-Broadway, there’s off-off Broadway and now there’s the Lichfield Garrick. Because last night in the Studio I got to see a fresh and sophisticated modern American musical that hasn’t been going for decades, hasn’t been done to death, hasn’t been hyped off the planet, hasn’t been heard here before, and is simply glorious.

Its Friends/Sex and the City loft-dwelling ambiance allows endless opportunities for four young players to move and amuse with songs ranging from the punchy to the poignant. When word gets out they’ll be jetting in from Manhattan in droves.

When I interviewed its producer Jonathan Mace about Edges a couple of weeks ago, he modestly omitted to mention he was also directing the show. His sure, mature touch has resulted in a production that’s funny, moving, clever, poignant, endearing and above all new. Although the up-close cabaret atmosphere of the Garrick Studio is ideal for this intimate production the scope and sheer cleverness of its fresh-as-paint presentation would easily translate into a bigger space.

The young producer and cast are all seasoned musical theatre performers and include veterans of the Lichfield Garrick Youth Theatre whose Les Mis is now a legend so I guessed they knew their stuff. The show’s upbeat story charts the progress of a group of young friends learning about love, moving into adult life and in the process becoming who they want to be. A witty songbook gives each player ample scope to shine both solo and ensemble. Most memorable among an impressive roster of songs were Rob Glynn’s I Once Knew, Daniel Breakwell’s Part of a Painting, Lizzie Wofford’s I’ve Gotta Run (she has a great blues voice) and unforgettably Charlotte Cowley’s Man of My Dreams, an instant classic if ever I heard one. The piano accompaniment by modest Jeremy Wootton is world class.

With this degree of freshness, charm and professionalism Edges could easily transfer to a London theatre. See it at the Garrick while you can.

Edges runs in the Garrick Studio until August 30. For tickets phone the box office on 01543 or go online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.

Phil Preece

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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