The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Nicki Alchin
10th Jul 2022

Sydney is awash with La Nina and musical theatrical diversions in 2022.

We raved about the magnificent An American In Paris with its stunning ballet/Broadway choreography and toe tapping George and Ira Gershwin tunes; can-canned our hearts out at Moulin Rouge and its mash up of '80s pop; and had on our mind dastardly upper East Side thoughts at Cruel Intentions via '90s hits. The list goes on with Mary Poppins throwing spoonfuls of sugar our way for school holiday cheer and the return to Sydney of a story woven around Alanis Morrisette's love twisted tunes in Jagged Little Pill.

We here at Sydney Scoop could therefore not predict such a breath of fresh air in musical theatre for Sydney this July as Rose McClelland's and Alexander Andrew's Little Triangle production of Rupert Holmes' The Mystery of Edwin Drood based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens.

We were delighted to witness a musical with script and songs purpose written to re-tell and create with audience participation, an ending for this Dickens tale. Audiences can expect to experience satirical and comedic, bright and breeze, Broadway style show-stopper song and dance numbers and the use of a few theatrical devices such as portraying the making of a show within a show, and enlisting punters in the task of writing the story's ending.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is at times a side splitting, always toe tapping, never boring, shining star musical that bursts with memorable talent and songs. Andrews has managed to direct the cast in a way where they work tightly and effortlessly together to make the audience buy into every last detail of the script. Their song and dance efforts are perfectly matched by the amazingly talented ensemble of musicians led by musical director Andy Freeborn mostly on keyboards.

Standouts in the cast for us were Phoebe Clark as Rosa Bud, Ren McMeiken as Edwin Drood, Zachery Aleksander as John Jasper, and Addy Robertson as Durdles, but really, each and every cast member shines.

Run, don't walk, to get your hands on this ýear's hottest tickets in musical theatre. We are besotted with this joyful and delightful unique way of bringing to life an unfinished Dickens tale that no doubt many have pondered. The Mystery of Edwin Drood has definitely brightened our spirits in this wet, cold winter of 2022.

Now playing until 16 July at the Seymour Centre.

Photos by Clare Hawley