Over the years, Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre has become known as a Fringe Festival thorough-bred. Producing such hits as Gregory Burk’s Gagarin Way and The Blackwatch, they will no doubt be earning yet another Fringe First award for latest play – Angels (and possibly a Scottish Fringe Theatre Award).
Written by Ronan O’Donnell, the story follows the plight of security guard Nick Prentice, played by Iain Robertson, as he is wrongly accused of a crime by the Edinburgh constabulary. From the graffiti etched interview room, our less than impressive protagonist tries to prove his innocence of an unanswered crime.
His social awkwardness goes against him. His legal council is all-but ignoring him. All he has in his favour is a vaguely erotic short story starring Charlotte Johansson. During the course of the interrogation, the condemned man must try to get past his own wretched life and prove his innocence – something he’s not even sure of until it all becomes clear.
Performed in minimalist light, there’s nothing for Scottish BAFTA winner Robertson to hide behind. The one-man-show will leave all involved feeling emotionally drained as the lead's performance flip-flops between nervous wreck and urban poet, sometimes in the space of a minute.
The hour-long performance races along at break-neck pace, leaving the audience little room to breathe. An occasional change of lights is the only sign of reprieve from the verbal onslaught. Robertson’s power-house performance as Prentice is one to admire. His blood-, sweat- and tear-soaked performance is as close to a nervous breakdown as one would happily get near to.
If you’re ready for it, Angels will be showing at the Traverse Theatre until the 26th.
Show Times: 4th – 26th (Not 6 ,13, 20), times vary. Recommended 14+
Ticket Prices: £17 (£12 conc)