Angel (11th March 2010)

Another busy day at the office for me, which seems to be the case these days with me working on multiple projects but honestly, I rather be busy than not doing much. Makes me feel ‘in demand’, if you know what I mean ;)

Caught up with Jono after work to see play Angel that is running from 5th - 13th March at BATS Theatre, probably the last of the many Fringe events on this year. Summer in Wellington is always filled with activities, both indoors and outdoors, and I find myself running all around town to see this play or that exhibition etc. almost every other day! Well, I’m sure you can tell I’ve been busy out and about doing too many things from my lack of blogging – hardly home to write about them!! Got to make time to blog, got to make time…

Cost us $16 per person for the 55-minute show that started at 6.30pm. Hmm, I wondered if it was too early for plays at this time of the day because only a third of the seats in the theatre were filled (or is the play really that bad?). Angel is a about a fallen angel trapped on earth who is finding ways to get back to heaven. A one-cast play of a ‘de-winged’ angel wearing a clown’s red nose with a live piano accompaniment, the story begins in mime with Angel trying to understand what has happened to her and discovering new things on earth. She goes on seeking different avenues to get herself back to heaven, including meditation to seek enlightenment (was funny to watch Angel struggling to sit in the yoga leg-crossed position because she can never get it right and falls over, and running under the spotlight, supposedly the light to heaven, getting quite frustrated as the spotlight kept moving around) and pretending to follow the footsteps of Mother Theresa. I think this part of the act may not be so well-received by some of the audience as it may be seen as taking the mickey out of Mother Theresa and her good-doings – it was funny to start when she clipped on a handkerchief on her head and did the Mother Theresa look but it dragged on for too long that it didn’t feel so funny after awhile. Angel proceeded to kill herself, suicide-bomber style when she saw her little hand puppet baby flew to heaven shortly after death. That didn’t quite work either when no one in the audience wanted to join her and she soon realised it was a bad idea, and carefully took off her bomb jacket (the bombs were Christmas crackers!). None of these seem to gain her acceptance back to heaven, so Angel then tried using love and got a man from the audience to join her on stage – every one was given a little love letter as we entered the theatre and part of the act was that she accepted the love letter from an audience but love didn’t convince god either. Frustrated and angry, Angel spent the rest of the days roaming around collecting all sorts of things. What happens after this in the play didn’t quite make sense to me. Angel was pretending to be Rocky Balboa, training up to lift this huge globe/ball, followed by some circus acts of skipping rope and juggling rings while balancing on the ball, both of which finally got the audience applauding. And then Angel could speak, describing to us what heaven is like as she tried to convince the audience to follow her on the journey to heaven while getting entangled on the trapeze.

Something was missing. Parts of it were somewhat slow and dragging, some funny and it didn’t quite make sense what the end of the story was about – was Angel banished to earth forever more?? The ending was her sitting alone on the bench and disappearing into the dark. What is that supposed to mean? Despair? ‘I’ve given up’?? I did like the piano music in the play which cleverly expresses Angel’s emotions and the scenarios she was in but the play was not one of the better BATS shows I’ve seen so far. Definitely room to make it better because the clown theatre, mime and circus acts were good. Fringe events are always a hit and miss – sometimes they are good, sometimes they make zero sense. Have got to see it to find out!

Rest of the evening was spent chilling out at Jono’s eating Malaysian takeaways from Serai Heaven and watching a movie. I’ve never been to Serai Heaven located on Riddiford St in Newtown before – the beef rendang I had was nice though $11.50 was a tad expensive for a little takeaway place in the suburbs. They even have lontong (a light coconut-based soup dish with compressed rice that is then cut into small cakes, vegetables and tofu) on their menu - I've not seen this dish served at any of the other Malaysian restaurants I've been to in town to date. They didn’t have proper Malaysian sambal for Jono’s nasi lemak though and gave him chilli sauce instead! Eee…Jono will have to visit Malaysia to sample authentic Malaysian cuisine!!


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