Angels’ Share is a world premier showing at Nevermind Small Club and is the directorial debut of well-known local performer Jared Barkla.
Angels’ Share is set in the Hebridean isles of Scotland and follows the story of two young men working in a decommissioned distillery, as they spend their lives drinking and guarding £5 million of Scotch.
The play is written by Michael Ramus, who has also written works produced at Edinburgh Fringe and the cast are a group of young actors, most of whom are WAAPA students or graduates.
Angels’ Share is a new work of contemporary theatre, and while it has potential, feels a little unpolished.
The production had a slow pace and energy, largely due to the high number of scene changes in just an hour and half.
Furthermore, some of the scene changes were in unusual positions in the dialogue, and effectively cut off tension which the cast had spent considerable effort creating in the preceding scene.
The Nevermind Small Club is a small intimate space with audience seated on two sides, and the partially in-the-round setting was managed well by the cast and a nice touch.
However, the club itself was quite noisy, and the volume of projection suffered during intense or emotional scenes, where the audience struggled to hear what was being said.
A particular challenge with this play was the Scottish Islands accent. It was perhaps unfortunate that I was reviewing, as my family is from the Hebridean islands, so I would probably be a harsher judge of accents.
That being said, Jared Barkla and Jordan Valentini did a good job of conveying the tricky accent. The other cast members varied, sometimes wavering in and out of accent with occasional Australian (and Irish?) twangs slipping in.
Similarly, Barkla and Valentini did a great job of conveying their characters and were a delight to watch.
Mark Mcdonald also did a nice job of conveying his cocky lad vibe. Unfortunately, the ladies did not fare so well in the piece, perhaps due to less character development in the script for them.
I understand that the season is almost sold out, so congratulations to the team for an interesting and engaging initial production.
I note that the theatre company aims to focus on developing new work, and I certainly hope that this piece is developed further as the potential is there for a lovely drama.