Home > Lifestyle > Entertainment > Arts
Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday November 4, 2013 MYT 9:02:14 AM
by qishin tariq
Catch The Edge, a musical that tells the story of John, who is brought to life through a cast narration, though he might be pushed to suicide by them too. The cast (from left): Peter Ong, Tria Aziz, Sean Chong, Safia Hanifah, Joshua Gui and Nadia Aqilah.
Edgy musical explores the bonds that push a man to suicide or keep him from jumping.
WHEN a man stands on the edge, what brings him there; is he pushed to the brink by those around him or does he choose to let go?
The Edge, a musical penned by Nick Choo explores what drives people to suicide and the responsibility of one’s social circles in keeping each other’s feet on solid ground. The tale centres on a young aspiring artist, Josh, who winds up on the top of a building declaring his decision to end his life.
However, Josh is never seen by the audience. Instead the story is told from the perspectives of the five people closest to Josh, his older brother Jarod (Peter Ong), their mother Lilly (Tria Aziz), Josh’s girlfriend Deanna (Safia Hanifah), his best friends Michael (Sean Chong) and Ryan (Joshua Gui), and a sixth person, Josh’s co-worker April (Nadia Aqilah) who provides an outsider’s view on the matter.
“That’s the cleverness, seeing how the audience reacts and shapes their image of a man who isn’t there” answers Choo to why he “left out” an actor for the central character. He nervously adds that he hopes he can call it cleverness.
Playing Josh’s mum, Tria imagines him to be a talented, but troubled young man, a classic case of the tortured artist. She notes that for consistency, all the actors were directed to keep their eyes at the same height when “talking” to Josh.
When asked how tall Josh was, Tria says “tall, nearly six feet”, while Choo says “five foot something”. Both laugh that there was already inconsistency.
To Choo’s credit, The Edge is not a libretto written on a whim of using the gimmick of a composite main character. Choo reveals that he had been working on the concept since 2006, with the script being debuted and workshopped in Kuala Lumpur Performing Art Centre in 2008.
The new and improved version will return to stage at KLPac this week.
“Since 2008, I’ve had time to refine the characters and the plotline, plus add in a few new songs,” says Choo, who is also the music director, composer and music arranger for The Edge. Despite his many hats, Choo has left direction in the capable hands of Sabrina Hassan.
“I’m too close to the project, letting Sabrina direct, I’ve seen all new facets to the piece,” admits Choo. He jokes that part of the delay in production was finding actors who had chemistry, the skills and pretty enough.
“In all seriousness, finding actors who can sing equally well was a real challenge. It’s a musical, so about 98% of the show is sung,” reveals Choo during a recent interview, pointing at Tria across the table. While Tria had signed up for the role earlier of Lilly this year, she had the opportunity to work with Choo, just a few months back.
Choo and Tria’s work was last seen at the KLPac stage sweeping up awards at the recent Short & Sweet Musicals, with their endearing, funny and touching piece, Dreaming Outside The Box. The Toy Story-like libretto written by Choo, featured Tria and Aaron Teoh as a sentient pairing of Jack and Jill-in-a-box, cruelly separated by the fact they could see each other only when someone let them jump out of their boxes.
Due to its nature, The Edge is a far darker work, though not lacking in humour either.
“Sure, there aren’t feather boas and high kicks, but I didn’t want to depress the audience with a sad sad story,” adds Choo.
Tria agrees, saying many of the flashback scenes are happy and a little bit hopeful.
Choo says one of the main themes of the play is blame. “How much blame can you take when someone you know commits suicide? Are you at fault, can you forgive yourself and can the deceased’s family forgive you?”
“Doing this show, I realise you can hurt people so easily, without even realising what you’re doing is hurtful,” opines Tria.
“Ultimately, you need to love yourself. If you don’t have enough love, no one can bring you back down.”
> The Edge is playing at KLPac in Sentul Park, Kuala Lumpur from Nov 6-9 at 8.30pm and Nov 9-10 at 3pm. There will also be a Gala Night (Nov 5) in support of Befrienders Kuala Lumpur. Tickets are RM68, while Gala Night tickets are RM100. Call 03-4047 9000, email email@example.com or visit www.ticketpro.com.my for tickets.
Tags / Keywords:
Entertainment, Entertainment, the edge play
Copyright © 1995-2013 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)