Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sad Since Tuesday Review

Angels are odd things. Ethereal beings that fly around the sky and do… what, exactly? Spy on people? Re-enact bombing raids? According to Sad Since Tuesday they carry out the morbid task of collecting the dead. A few snapshots of these collections are shown in the opening moments before the play settles down proper into the story of an angel that falls to Earth on his way to collect a dying baby and ends up trapped in a chicken coop.

Yeah… the plot is best left well alone, what little of it there is. Some moments just don’t make sense, such as rain, the nemesis of all flighty things, being what causes the angel to smash to Earth. Then there’s the suggestion that the angel proceeds to spend the next few years trapped in a chicken coop belonging to the family of the baby he’s meant to collect, the only outside interest in him being a French doctor who is confused by the sound the angel’s heart makes. When the resolution comes it also goes without a trace. Almost ethereal, you might say.

Sad Since Tuesday isn’t about the plot though, it’s about the visual images and moments that the cast create. While lacking the slickness and professionalism of some of the more seasoned shows here, the play is still full of imagination. Be it in the simple yet effective sight of the angels flying or the blue fabric of water on a boat’s oar, the cast never give a potential image the chance of slipping away. Even if we have no interest in the character of the child, the cartoon mask, boots and single glove combination are at least charming to watch.

The performances are erratic (if you’re going to arbitrarily choose an accent at least make it one that all the cast are comfortable with) and, out of the three, Tom Coxon is exemplary. His pathetic (in a good way) attempts to take flight as an angel are crushingly painful to watch and his final moment on the trapeze is a brief demonstration of his natural talent and ability. All the actors contribute, but it is him who, as the centre of the piece, really takes flight (God I hate myself).

Sad Since Tuesday is nice. If that sounds patronising then that’s because it is. Everyone is going to give this show a bit of leeway because it’s an A2 piece and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The cast and crew have shown genuine dedication to the piece and, even if it doesn’t work all the time, it does show a huge amount of promise for future work from each of its contributors.

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