Angel – Theatre Upstairs – Review by Helen O’Leary
Angel is a short and powerful production directed by Anarosa de Eizaguire Butler. It is currently running at the Theatre Upstairs on Eden Quay that has a snug and convivial atmosphere on a cold night.
Daniel‘s sister Lorraine has been tragically killed in a car accident. Lorraine was just sixteen years when she died; an older married man with whom she was having an affair drove the vehicle. We never meet Lorraine but get a sense of her presence through conversational flashbacks and voice recordings played off stage.
An introverted college student, Daniel is deeply affected by the needless death of his sister. His grief triggers a rage at himself and others. Feeding into Danny’s turmoil is a difficult relationship with his parents and unresolved issues around his own sexuality. He has a fervent desire for revenge and is under the illusion this can be achieved without getting blood on his hands. Enter his accomplice Angel who comforts and torments Danny in equal measure. Angel uses her charms to carry out murderous deeds that Danny desires but also finds abhorrent. These deeds are graphically described over the play but ultimately we are left wondering if Angel is a demon of Danny’s disturbed mind.
Lighting by Brian Murray is used to good effect. Different lights for different voices capture the turmoil in Danny s mind.
Written by Derek Masterson, Angel makes for a tense hour of theatre. The bloody crimes, escalating hostility between Danny and Angel and sexual undertones are disturbing. At times it feels too small and intimate a stage for the intensity and violence of the piece. Both actors Anthony Blake and Emmet Kelly give accomplished performances as Angel and Daniel respectively; no doubt we’ll see their talent again accommodated on a bigger stage.
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DATES / TIMES:
Tuesday, February 25th – Saturday, March 8th
1PM PERFORMANCES: Tuesday – Saturday (both weeks)
7PM PERFORMANCES: Thursday – Saturday (both weeks)