Book &Lyrics: Steven Sater
Music: Duncan Sheik
Reviewer: David Doyle
The Tony Award-winning Spring Awakening has had a resurgence in interest following the Deaf West revival in New York, which offered a radical reinterpretation of the text. While not a radical reinterpretation, EUSOG’s production is an accomplished version of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s exploration of sexual repression in 19th Century Germany.
The entire company performs wonderfully throughout. Strong vocal performances, accompanied by skilled acting bring the youthful exuberance of this group of teenagers to life. Stand-out among them is Greg Williamson, whoseperformance as the angst-ridden Moritz Stiefel is near perfection, marking himself out as a real talent.
While not a radical reinterpretation of the show, there are some genuinely imaginative moments, which offer new insights into the text. Some neat choreography and staging help create a show that has enough new moments for Spring Awakening fans while also offering a competent presentation of Sater and Sheik’s work. The themes of the show feel as important in this production as they ever have, and while the show does feel rushed at times, it feels like an important piece of work being staged.
The show’s strengths are significantly hampered by sound mixing problems throughout, which often see key lines dropped and leave the sound of feedback ringing around the space. With strong musicianship, as well as strong performances, EUSOG has managed to put on an accomplished rendering of one of Broadway’s biggest shows.
Runs until 13August 2016