This week’s Flashback Friday review spotlights Newport Playgoers presentation of Richard Everett’s Entertaining Angels. The production, directed by Catherine Morgan, ran at Newport’s Dolman Theatre in May 2013. Andy Howells reviewed the production:
RICHARD Everett’s Entertaining Angels, the story of how a feisty vicar’s wife comes to terms with her husband’s sudden death and the secrets that arise following it is the latest production to get the Newport Playgoers treatment.
The society has handpicked a collection of excellent plays this season. This latest production, the directional debut of Catherine Morgan, is no exception.
Its eye-catching set design of the Vicarage Garden immediately pulls the audience into the unfolding story.
Mel Edwards is majestic as the put-upon vicar’s wife/widow, who feels that in return for making countless cups of tea and two tons of short crust pastry in 40 years of marriage, has been robbed of her intimacy with her husband Bardolph.
Bardolph himself is the only male presence in the play, portrayed brilliantly by Stephen Saunders, as a pottering, sermon-writing spirit, who still sees his journey as ongoing.
While Lilian Hynes gives emotion and depth to Grace’s outwardly eccentric sister Ruth, Ros Jones-Griffiths provides a strong support as Grace’s psychotherapist daughter Jo who finds herself playing unpaid counsel to the central characters.
Jennie Crum steals the show as incoming vicar Sarah, her own life littered with its fair share of secrets drawing parallels with her deceased predecessor but also displaying how situations can be resolved so that life can move forward.
Most importantly with wry looks at human behaviour and the church, Entertaining Angels has an appeal that does not leave the audience short on laughs.
- Flashback Friday is written and compiled by Andy Howells.
- Main Photograph by Phil Mansell