Ventnor Fringe Festival 2013.
Bonchurch Theatre Company rehearse Angels in the River at Ventnor Baptist Church.
Left Steph Warren, Chris Rickards and Linda O'Connor. Picture by Jennifer Burton.
YOU MISSED out, is all I can say in reply to the few empty chairs at the Pier Street Playhouse — Ventnor Baptist Church — last night (Thursday) for a performance of Angels in the River.
Written by Isle of Wight talent Glenn Koppany and performed by the Bonchurch Theatre the play reminded me of Jean Paul Sarte's No Exit, but with doses of dark humour.
It follows the world of Frances, a woman driven to madness by society's rejection.
She is haunted by her own mind and hears the voices of Sara and Helen, two alter-egos who provide both company and hardship.
The audience was seated in a triangle, with the stage in the centre. The effect demanded a continuous, professional performance and that is exactly what it got.
Sara and Helen, played by Chris Rickards and Linda O'Connor respectively, made full use of the three sided stage, circling around during the madder moments and creating a dizzying effect, something normally only achievable in film.
Steph Warren gave a superb performance, with the main highlight coming when she sung Koppany's version of Still My Beating Heart.
Chris's ability to flick on and off bursts of energy as Sara was particularly impressive and it kept the pace of a very sombre and deep plot.
Helen provides the darker side of Francis' loneliness, full of doubt and sinister thought. Linda employed a range of voices to flit between the best and worst of her character, one minute sounding like an obnoxious child, the next a Harry Enfield posh Waynetta Slob.
This play is fantastic. Written and performed excellently. Even the humour, during the exploration of sex, strikes at deeper meaning.