Third Angel, Where From Here

Review in Issue 13-1 | Spring 2001

Does a theatrical experiment necessarily mean experimental theatre? Perhaps not in this case, despite the company’s own publicity. In a white box set, a kind of dream room, two actors – a man and a woman – each test out what they can make the other, and thus the audience, believe about their present.

The production separates out the different layers of their speech: the implicit relation between the actors themselves and the explicit relation between the characters of whom – and, perhaps, as whom – they speak. The interplay between what we see and hear, between what is present in the telling of the stories concerning a man and a woman and the past of which they speak, is itself the subject of the play. Its relation to the audience, however, seemed to consist mainly of the occasional laugh of recognition at various references in the script.

Most interesting in the production was perhaps the way it projected the presence of objects in performance: narratively present through the actors’ descriptions of other rooms at other times, and yet also present before us in the absence of anything else from such scenes. If the objects’ presence seemed more theatrically real in marking the interplay between past and present, doubt and deception, speech and gesture, perhaps this was because the two actors seemed sometimes to be performing in two different productions. The man was almost intimately expressive of anxieties and doubts about the stories he was telling, as if they did indeed constitute his relationship to the woman, of their way of being in the present; the woman, however, seemed almost neutral throughout, as if untouched by the question of either his or indeed her own gestures.

At times, too, the other room evoked by the stories sounded too much simply like the room in which they had been devised. While there was a lot that was interesting in the production, it seemed somehow to take this interest for granted, rather than experimenting with its own performance.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Feb 2001

This article in the magazine

Issue 13-1
p. 28