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Review: UCL Musical Theatre Society presents Edges

Because none of us really have our sh*t together.

Directed by Joey Jepps, Edges explores the difficulties of young adulthood and confronts the high expectations placed on the youth through song, wit and drama. After watching this song cycle, written by award-winning songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul whilst they were studying at the University of Michigan, members of the audience will most likely find themselves singing along to the catchy songs for the remainder of the week (namely “Be My Friend”, better known as “The Facebook Song”).

The musical provides insight into the average young person’s diary through song and the setting could not be more fitting. The theatre was compact, however this ended up being an advantage as it allowed those watching the show to form a real connection to what was happening on stage; a connection that is rare in the world of theatre as more often than not, an invisible barrier exists between the audience and the characters.

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Ultimately, it’s difficult to focus solely on the singing. Despite the fact that it is a song cycle and there were strong and consistent performances such as “I’ve Gotta Run”, it was the stories told and the acting performances that were the reasons why I couldn't help but become so invested and engrossed. The innate desperation of the need to find love is depicted brilliantly by Lizzie Miesenboeck in “Man Of My Dreams” – a performance reminiscent of Clueless’ Cher Horowitz who eventually comes to the realisation that she is not her boyfriend’s type.

Though there was some confusion created over misuse of lighting, the stellar performances of the actors and their on-stage dynamics made for a captivating and light-hearted experience. Edges successfully balances comedy along with real dilemmas, reminding us all that young adulthood is not all it’s cracked up to be – but also not to take ourselves too seriously.

Rating: ⭑⭑⭑⭑

Photography: Charlie McQuade