A journey of 19 songs – some sad, some angry, some melancholy, some empowering and some playful. All of them are linked by running away, all linked by a longing song cycle and beautiful harmony created by Chris Miller (lyrics) and Nathan Tysen (music) first performed 10 years ago in New York.
This production is tight and timely, with beautiful choreography. 6 individuals work the space, moving and weaving, directing attention, creating real and imagined connections guiding us through the journey.
The whole cast are outstanding – especially when performing as a company. It is a credit to the direction of Dirk Hoult that these young talented recent graduates not only perform beautiful vocals but they bring great character and emotion to both the song and the individual characters – the loner, the cynic, the philosopher, the trapped, the spurned and the old soul.
Bailey Dunnage (Matt) brings great energy and real persona to his performance, a standout in this production. Anna Wilshire (Karen) offers clear bright notes and sweetness, Lachlan Hamilton (Gavin) has a quiet thinking-man presence, Luisa Scrofani (Barret) is vulnerable and sassy all at once, Saxon Grey (Joshua) with a beautiful voice evokes an era of brat pack long gone and Jessica Papps (Alysha) brings smoke and fire. This is a very talented ensemble.
The set design and lighting are as simple and intimate as the chapel off chapel theatre we gather in – a versatile couch, a ladder to swing from and a floor of autumn leaves contain us. The perfect simplicity allows the performances shine and the lyric resonate. The three piece band (led by the very busy and talented MD Caleb Garfinkle) are tucked into the corner adding their own personality and “beat” to the story, expertly tackling the contemporary pop, folk and gospel sound.
This show is a young persons show – all about young American kids running away from school, partners, their teens – and somehow in their 20’s seem to run back home. As an audience you might, as a young person, look forward with the cast or as an older audience, look back to a unique time and perspective.
This is a special show of beautiful harmony, emotion, a time of possibility and being a fugitive. You should do the same and join them in their journey. Fugitive Songs is playing at Chapel off Chapel for a short season until 2 September. Highly recommend getting in early to secure your seat.