On the evening of the 16th of March I had the privilege of witnessing a very special performance. It was just three people in the middle of a small room in London. No special effects, no music, no props, but these three people created an experience that transcended the need for those things. They were the performers in ‘A High Price to Pay’ by the Outside Edge Theatre Company.
There wasn’t even a need to dim the lights as the performers stepped up and went to work. The story was about Megan, a girl who had been to rehab and was now going home to visit her alcoholic father for the first time in a long while. The play deals with so many issues, so many just touched upon in the moving scenes, but they leave a huge impact on the audience. I was moved. When the play is over, the audience has the chance to discuss how they feel about the characters’ situations, and even to suggest new endings. The play is re-started and goes along until someone shouts to stop, and then the suggestion that stopped the play is acted out, with the willing audience member going up to act.
I’ve never seen anything like it. In my life, I have been very powerfully moved by music. This play is the first thing that has had a similar effect to the music I love. It brought up my own issues with growing up and made me think about them. But I wasn’t left alone with all my thoughts. With the Outside Edge, if you want help and support, they are there to give it. Issues like the ones that were raised in the play are difficult to deal with: alcoholism, drug misuse, self-harm, violence, manipulative influences, to name a few. Struggling with any of those things can be very painful, but this group of actors (who themselves have dealt with these issues) affords an outlet for you to safely explore these things through them. It’s quite simply stunning. The audience participation, managed skilfully by the company’s Director Phil Fox, was lively and thoughtful. It’s just something you must experience!
I am in the process of organising a fund raiser for them. I would like your help. The event will feature live music and a performance by the company. I guarantee you will find it worthwhile. Drop me an email and get involved. We need donations to help with the costs, volunteers to help create and print a programme, people to help set up… as always with fundraising events there is lots of work! Music fans are passionate people, and I need your passion to make this fundraiser a success.
Visit their website here: http://www.outsidedgetheatre.com
Jimmy Page said of their work, “They demonstrate the very real capacity of live performance to positively transform shattered lives.” Jimmy should know. He knows a thing or two about live performance, and it was his music that helped transform my shattered life. Not only mine, but that of so many others as well.
So music fans, are you ready to step up on The Edge? Come on. Be moved.