ED FRINGE: Bare: A Pop Opera – RSE Theater Wolfson Theatre, Edinburgh
Book/Lyrics: Jon Hartmere,
Book/Music: Damon Intrabartolo
Director: Stuart Mitchell
The Little Edinburgh Theater offers you the production of BARE: a pop opera. The production centers on a group of sixth graders at a Catholic boarding school where we explore the devious relationship between Jason and Peter. The production doesn’t shy away from its hard-hitting themes that include bulimia, teenage pregnancy, and suicide. Young actors handle this with maturity and integrity.
The 14 strong actors portray their individual characters with raw emotion with standout performances, especially from Stuart Michell (Peter) who particularly shines during his song “Role of a Lifetime” setting the stage. Riodhna Walsh (Ivy) handles the mature themes of teenage pregnancy, and her powerful voice is showcased brilliantly in the song “All Grown Up.” Amber Docherty (Diane Lee) and Catriona Lamb (Tanya) both bring incredible light to the roles. A final mention has to go to Sam Fraser as Lucas who has excellent comedic timing and keeps the audience laughing throughout.
Despite the loud voices, diction problems and the fact that the actors weren’t mic, it sometimes meant lines were lost, especially when actors are asked to stage themselves, the book in musicals is still the least of the main elements, but that doesn’t mean we should miss out on essential story elements because of poor directing.
The cast works extremely well as an ensemble, but it’s clear at this later stage of the run that some individual voices sound tired – a thought-provoking lesson in all you can do at the Ed Fringe that has even caught the artists. the most seasoned.
Bare is an extremely difficult production to execute, but the young cast delivers a very moving and empowering revival. One that will take you from tears to laughter and put you on the edge of your seat multiple times throughout its run.
Until August 28, 2022