The second Bobby of EdFringe 2017 has been scooped by Middle Child for All We Ever Wanted Was Everything. Broadway Baby's Editor, Bennett Bonci surprised the company after their show yesterday to present the trophy.
The innovation and flawless execution are more than just effective; this show is exciting in its affirmation of the endless possibilities of Fringe theatre.
It’s weird to be so excited about a show that preaches so adamantly against the concept of aspiration. But All We Ever Wanted Was Everything has what Italia Conti’s production of The Laramie Project, which won this year’s first Bobby, has: momentum. In this case, that refers to the feeling that the beginning of the show inevitably leads to its end, with every step along the way a pit stop necessary to reaching our final destination.
In AWEWWE (a useful abbreviation for a verbose title), the momentum starts with the near constant presence of music. Utilised correctly, music can create the emotion to accompany storytelling, and here it is used perfectly. AWEWWE starts with music, provided by the onstage band. As the lead singer/MC starts to spin his tale, the band seamlessly transforms into the acting troupe. Generically, the songs change as the story progresses from 1987 to 2017, but are connected by its root in British music and its rebellious attitude.
Beneath the chords is a story of parallel lives, missed opportunities and dissatisfaction. Two children are born on the same day in Hull. One is rich, one is poor, both will endure hardship, and neither is aware of the asteroid hurtling towards earth. They dream big, but when unable to realise those dreams, their personal relationships and self-esteem suffer. They remain obsessed with the future, unaware that there won’t be one, as the asteroid draws closer.
At the end, the music finally stops. All that’s left is the words of the MC, whose cool and collected demeanor is now replaced with an impassioned rage. “Live your life!” he exclaims. AWEWWE is idealistic; it’s just a different type of idealism. And those ideas are presented through a show that blurs the line between theatre and musical theatre in a way that is entirely its own. The innovation and flawless execution are more than just effective; this show is exciting in its affirmation of the endless possibilities of Fringe theatre. And so I am ecstatic to announce that All We Ever Wanted Was Everything is the winner of a 2017 Bobby Award.