20 - 30 June 2018, Napier Little Theatre By Lilly Devine
On the face of it, Entertaining Angels is a comedic British production. However, if you look past this facade, deeper topics are addressed. The underlying themes of guilt, forgiveness and religion provide a framework for a humorous and riveting work. David Brock directs this play, which follows the lives of a family and a newcomer as they deal with the passing of their husband, father, illicit lover and vicar. The play is skillfully portrayed with a cast of five. They work together smoothly and the fleeting moments of hesitation in the dialogue are few and far between. Some of the script is surprisingly rude, but met with explosive laughter and positive reactions from the audience.
I found the character Eleanore McLean portrayed, Grace, particularly entertaining. One minute you’re laughing, the next you feel her pain and grief. Her role epitomises the seemingly incomprehensible ways different people deal with loss. Her daughter Jo, played by Stacey Nelson and estranged sister Ruth, played by Annette Waren, struggle to deal with Grace’s lack of grace. She brags that she’s deliberately trying to be, “the most difficult woman” her daughter knows. The new vicar, played by Sheree Wereta struggles to find her place in the new community as well as finding her faith. Grace discusses her trials and tribulations with a man in the greenhouse, who we come to realise is her recently passed husband played by John Foster, in an attempt to understand and cope with current and past events.
The show provides the whole experience. We’re ushered to our seats by a welcoming team. The tables are immaculately set, with water provided alongside the programmes. Coffee and tea are served at the intermission, with a cheeky piece of chocolate slice.
I recommend pencilling in the next production Napier Repertory Players organises. There will be a youth production of Animal Farm from the 10th to the 17th of August. All the actors, staff and producers are voluntary and it is great to celebrate and support local talent and community dedication.