BWW Review: FUGITIVE SONGS at Chapel Off Chapel
Review by Josh Martin
Sonder Theatre Company's production of indie-folk song cycle Fugitive Songs at Chapel off Chapel creates a fantastic atmosphere in an intimate setting in the Loft Theatre.
With music by award-winning songwriters Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, Fugitive Songs premiered Off-Broadway at the 45th St Theatre on March 8, 2008. It features a cast of six, three men and three women, who inhabit multiple different characters. We learn each characters unique story over 19 songs, and how they are all on the run from life.
While this reviewer is generally a fan of song cycles, this piece was quite hard to follow and I am still unclear if this was the piece itself or the way it was presented in this production. The lack of articulation from the performers combined with the sound imbalance between vocalists and the band, suggests it may be the latter.
Nevertheless, the bands overall onstage presence was fantastic as they weaved through the different musical moods with ease and created a great collaborative 'jam'.
Unfortunately the young cast of singers who did have pleasant singing voices were unable to convincingly inhabit their characters and share their stories with the audience. They seemed to be on a different wavelength to the band.
The exception to this was stand out Bailey Dunnage, who excelled in creating a strong stage presence and succinctly sharing his characters' journeys with the audience, whether it be as a subway sandwich employee trying to escape his current life, or the "high guy" finding himself unwillingly robbing a store.
The direction by Dirk Hoult created some interesting staging which added much needed light and shade to break up the 19 songs.
For more information on Sonder Theatre Company's upcoming production please visit https://www.sondertheatreco.com.au/