Entertaining Angels

Date 5th October 2012
Society Leighton Buzzard Drama Group
Venue Leighton Buzzard Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Bob Jones

Report

Author: Enid Cooper

Entertaining Angels is set in a vicarage garden. Grace is mourning the death of her vicar husband Bardolph and enjoying a new found freedom of expression, she can now say exactly what she wants. The conversations she enjoys with her dead husband concern her daughter Jo and sister Ruth. The new vicar Sarah offers help. However during the course of the play deception, adultery and abortion slowly come to light so that Grace herself realises she has been living a lie.
The play is intriguing and thought provoking, it touches on a number of serious issues but never really discusses any in depth. The more serious elements of the play are lightened with Grace’s sharp comic and witty responses
The garden of a vicarage was well done; the realistic garden and garden shed added much to the atmosphere. In particular an extended apron to the right of the stage contained a river setting which provided more variety for the action and ultimately was essential to the plot. The stage designers and crew are to be congratulated on achieving this.
Bob Jones was fortunate in having a strong cast of confident actors. Emma Stone was excellent as the new vicar Sarah. She demonstrated effectively Sarah’s initial apprehension as the new vicar and her eventual confidence and sympathy in the final scene. Jan Delamore played Ruth, Grace’s missionary sister. This was a complex character who was instrumental in destroying many of Grace’s long held beliefs. This was again a confident performance however the complexity of the character was not entirely demonstrated. Grace’s daughter Jo was played by Lorna Daggett. This too was a very effective performance, providing much contrast with Grace. Jo’s sympathetic yet practical and rational approach was convincingly shown. Lorna had an ease of performance which was very attractive to watch. This was a key role very well acted.
Randall Moll as Bardolph, the dead but very much present vicar was thoroughly believable. This was a low key performance demonstrating very effectively that on the stage ‘less is more’ Randall grasped the essentials of the man and never once stepped out of the character. He was able to show that behind the kind, intelligent vicar was someone unable to come to terms with a tragic moment of deception.
Barbara Springthorpe’s Grace was a triumph. Barbara demonstrated to the full her many talents; she has excellent line delivery and her bon-mots were timed perfectly, Barbara’s facial expressions were a delight, she was able to bring great comic effect with just one look at the audience. This was a challenging role, demanding a varied and broad range of emotions, Barbara met that challenge convincingly. She commanded the stage and the audience hung on her every word.
Leighton Buzzard Drama Group is most fortunate in having such talents on and off stage, working together to produce an evening of quality.