Review - Entertaining Angels: humour lightens the darkness
Written by Richard Everett
Director, Anne Wilson
Act 1 Theatre
Old Shire Hall, Gympie Road, Strathpine
Season: October 21-November 5. Bookings: 0458 579 269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This play is one that centres on a dysfunctional family where the main combatants are the daughters, female relatives, and friends.
They come together after a death of a relative and relive part of their pasts from a new perspective. In this play, the death was of a husband who was also a minister of religion. The action takes place in the church house where Grace is having difficulty adjusting to her husband’s death - she visualizes him in their favourite garden where she “speaks” to him.
Her daughter Jo tries to help her but the situation is made more difficult with the arrival of her older sister, Ruth, who is a missionary in Africa, and the prospective new curate of the church, Sarah.
Director, Anne Wilson, has worked with this experienced cast in a setting that allowed the pace and mood to be maintained for the length of the play but she may have been wise to have done some editing of the second act.
She did break the depressed overall mood with some humour but some of the characters need more subtlety to be more effective.
Cheryl Bartlett was very good as older sister, Ruth, while Kim Barrett-Coade made a good perspective curate. Unfortunately, I had trouble hearing Christine Russell’s Jo at times. However, the role of Grace was critical for the play to really succeed and Clare Kenny Hughes carried the pace really well . It would have been enhanced with more fine tuning to suit the various emotional and physical situations.
And John Sayles drifted throughout as the ghost of curate past.
The set was the best I have ever seen on this stage. I could even smell fresh mown grass
It was a challenging play that kept us listening, watching and wondering what would happen next. ACT1 – keep producing plays like this.