Shadows of Angels review – Edinburgh Festival Fringe ★★★★☆

2 mins read

Shadows of Angels, from Anglesea Performing Arts is an Australian piece of theatre, based on real events of the 1920s.

Four female actors each relay a monologue, describing their character’s actions on one day, and their reminiscences of related events in the past. 

We are in an Australian inner-city – probably Sydney – in its slums and shacks, rather than its neat Federation Architecture homes. 

The skill here lies in the fact that the story unravels slowly, across all four monologues. Facts are revealed by one person, and further context given by another. 

There are also plenty of twists. Just as you think you’ve understood everything, a surprise awaits.

I don’t want to say too much about the specifics of the plot. To do so would, in this instance, inevitably lead to spoilers. 

Thematically, this is about crime, sex work, the impossible decisions women are forced into due to the actions of men, and extremely toxic masculinity. 

The acting here is superb. Each member of the cast takes their turn in the spotlight and leads us through their understanding of this day’s events. 

The script is incredibly well put together. Scenes follow on from each other, and therefore avoid over-repetition. They show us enough of the differing perspectives on the same actions to allow us to see the uncertainties, the contradictions. 

There was one plot element that caused slight confusion, around the last of the characters we see and their fate. I would have liked the reasons for this occurrence to have been more fully explained.

Although conclusions could be inferred with some thought, this could have been made clearer. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, this is an engaging, thoughtful piece of theatre, that also contains a prescient warning from history of circumstances some would like us to return to.

Shadows of Angels performance schedule has already concluded. I saw the last performance at the 2023 Fringe, but should it be revived, this is strongly recommended. 

Featured Image Credit: Edinburgh Fringe / Anglesea Performing Arts

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