City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Angel by Henry Naylor, Gilded Balloon Teviot, Review

By Kenneth Scott - Posted on 20 August 2016

Angel by Henry Naylor - Pipeline Productions
Show details
Pipeline Productions
Running time: 
Henry Naylor (writer / producer), Michael Cabot (director).
Filipa Bragança (Rehana).

Young Rehana stands in the moonlit pistachio grove, surrounded by the snarls and yelps of predators. When her father tells her to shoot her injured dog he will be teaching her an important lesson.

She knows this orchard well; with its 300-year-old tree it has been passed down through generations of her family living in this small border town in the north of Syria. It’s a place where nothing much happens, but recently has become the front-line in a warzone from which all the journalists have fled. No one hears the sound of trees fallen in an unreported forest.

When her father finds a crop of local young religious hotheads in the wood, he tells Rehana that school is cancelled. He believes her desire to become a lawyer is a childish phase and that her education should now be about humans above nature, predator over prey and, most importantly, how to shoot a rifle.

With ISIL forces pushing into the area, she and her mother flee for Europe where they will most surely be looked after. But at the Turkish border 130,000 refugees already wait. Her father, rooted to his belief in Kurdish independence has stayed for his homeland and his trees. When Rehana goes back for him she enters a wilderness full of vultures.

In the company of some women fighters of the YPJ she will become an avenging angel of death. The death of the enemy; her dreams, compassion, herself as a pacifist. One thing which might not be killed is a legend.

This is an elegantly crafted and simply, but compellingly told monologue allowing story-telling of something that would be otherwise difficult to dramitise. Amongst the ideological conflicts there are lighter east meets west cultural clashes that add a human touch. These work in the main but seem a little weak when used as the final punch.

The story may not be entirely true; “Rehana”, not being a front line fighter but member of an auxiliary 'Home Guard' unit, but the story in addition to being timely, symbolises our desire to be watched over, protected from evil - our enduring belief in angels.

Show Times: 3 – 29 August 2016 at 4.30pm.

Tickets: £6 to £12.50.

Suitability: 12+