Theatre Review: Angelique

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Presented by isthisyours?
Reviewed 14 October 2017

Angelique embraces absurdity and the extraordinary. Local theatre company isthisyours? does not content themselves with a simple narrative, but present an interactive backstage experience with cast members masquerading as ushers turned tour guides.

The narrative opens on a family in crisis, as Angelique and her parents react to her sister’s recent disappearance. Her mother wallows in self-pity, while her father desperately tries to cling to normality. Their lives are further interrupted when a parrot flies into the house during a tension fraught family dinner. The parrot soon visits Angelique in a series of hallucinations that make her doubt her relationships and future as she moves into young adulthood.

Angelique does not allow its audience to remain passive for very long. The narrative is broken when ushers chivy the audience from their seats and through to back stage. They are taken through the bowels of Her Majesty’s Theatre, including the prop department, down winding windowless corridors, up and down narrow staircases, and into dressing rooms. The play’s narrative intermittently follows the audience on this bizarre tour, spaced between soliloquies from the ushers.

Director Tessa Leong must be praised together with the entire cast for their heartfelt performances that are also perfectly timed in this most unusual delivery. It is truly an ensemble production, as reflected in the program where the cast is listed only by name and not associated with their characters. They make Duncan Graham’s script shine.

Angelique is bursting with youthful energy and cultivates a philosophical yet slightly sinister theatre experience like none other. It does not exactly offer a decisive or optimistic resolution, but it will certainly make you question conventional theatre.

Reviewed by Nicola Woolford

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre
Season: 13th – 21st October
Duration: Two Hours
Tickets: $25.00 – $37.00
Bookings: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au

 

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