Music Gives Way To Theatre
A Toronto composer- turned-actor in love with Edmonton brings his tour de force show to the Fringe
by Piotr Grella-Mozejko
SEE Magazine, Edmonton - August 12, 2010
Alex Eddington laughs so naturally and heartily at his own honest answer it immediately becomes contagious. I cannot resist and join in, so if someone observed us he and I would pass for a couple of crazies.
What’s it all about, lads? Well, perhaps it is not so funny on the surface, but what he just admitted would give many a person in the know a chuckle. Apparently, I just asked a good question: Why, being such a success story in music — he’s even a composer-in-residence with the Scarborough Philharmonic for goodness’ sake! — did he decide to lead a double, or even triple, life both as a classical composer and an actor-cum-playwright? Born, raised and living in Toronto, he nonetheless elected to get his masters degree in music in composition from the University of Alberta, then added theatre stage to his CV and in a short period of time has established an unassailable reputation on the Fringe circuit — and beyond.
“I love being on stage,” Eddington explains, “And more than that, I love being able to control the light, and sound, and feel, and emotion of a space for an hour and to bring people on a journey with me.
“And, there are things I can say through theatrical writing and performance that I cannot say through music, which is inherently an abstract art form.
“Of course, it’s a nice way of saying that I’m a control freak! Performing someone else’s text has let me relax considerably and play with the audience and the space more. I just love taking people on the path of discovery — it satisfies my … mild vanity,” he finishes the sentence with a laughter, which smacks of healthy confidence, not guilt.
“After all,” Eddington adds, “I’ve always been bored with composing only. That’s why I started performing music, a lot of wild, improvisatory stuff, which almost naturally pushed me towards the other stage. You know, there’s an awful lot of musical experience in my acting. There’s this other thing, too, namely giving my audiences a moment of beauty and reflection. I live for and through them.”
When you think of it, there isn’t such a long way from composing for orchestra, which he does so well, to writing plays and acting in other people’s works such as the already classic Tired Clichés by T. J. Dawe.
“I really wanted to bring that play to Edmonton again, a killer text with wicked sense of humour. I already did it here once, but it has matured since. Laura Anne (Harris, the director) and I worked on it very hard and I feel good about it. The play’s become so much fuller in philosophical and richer in interpretive terms, plus it’s better paced. What first lured me into doing it was not only the masterful text, but also the sheer physicality of the play. I can say I’ve finally developed enough stamina to endure the challenge. I just love doing it!”
Those who’d seen Eddington perform Tired Clichés must already be drooling. It’s that good.
A mention in the Edmonton Journal's substantial pre-festival coverage - August 12, 2010:
"There's other Dawe content too, courtesy of Toronto's apparently
fearless Alex Eddington, who has the temerity to add sound cues and
actual props to a new version of Dawe's spiralling Tired Cliches."
Read more: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/Show+Ours+flashes+goods/3388369/story.html#ixzz0wPePPOPa