Holden Street Theatres – The Studio, Fri 17 Feb.
Adelaide Fringe has arrived! Time to dress up, go out and grab some Fringe! My first Fringe experience this year was spent in the Middle East, courtesy of this gripping monologue from a woman dressed in army fatigues, relating her experiences of growing up in a small village in war torn Syria.
We first meet Rehana (Angel) at age 12 – her first experience with a gun is to be told by her father to destroy her badly injured dog – “a lesson you must learn”. Then at seventeen her father pulls her out of school to teach her to shoot accurately. This is a long and arduous process but her father persists. She is horrified. She is a swot who wants to be a lawyer and she knows what missing so much school will mean. “Girls shouldn’t hold guns!” she pleads. “Nor should men!” is her father’s taciturn reply. Her first experience of killing another person is abhorrent to her, but her skills soon earn her legendary status.
There is a depth to each of the characters introduced into the script. We learn to understand their motives even if we don’t like them. The difference between life and death can be a snap decision about which flag you choose to display on your truck. As powerful as this play would be if Angel were a male, it is further enriched by alluding to the indignities she must suffer by being female.
There are plenty of cheap jokes to lighten the load, to remind us there are humorous moments even in the grimmest of times.
Of course, the whole thing is held together by the bravura performance of Avital Lvova as Rehana. With almost no props she is able by the slightest gesture or facial expression to deliver the meaning of her words in a believable way, and to keep the audience on the edge of their seats in the intimate space of The Studio.
So frock up and go have some fun at the Adelaide Fringe. But make sure you include Angel by Henry Naylor at Holden Street Theatres on your ‘must see’ list.
Angel by Henry Naylor continues at Holden Street Theatres – The Studio, at various times, Sun 19 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.