Printable CopyANGEL
Holden Street Theatres
Holden Street Theatres
Until 13 Mar 2017

Review by John Wells

As the lights snapped off at the end of this electrifying performance, there was a pause, then a strong burst of applause. The clapping grew louder – grateful and appreciative – as Avital Lvova took her bow – and rumbled into a raucous, then standing ovation.

“Angel” is perfect Fringe theatre: unadorned and simple, but pulsating with a rich admixture of poetry and punch. Henry Naylor’s complex text is subtle, imaginative and driven by a compassionate, righteous beauty. There are moments of depravity and anger, leavened with delightful touches of humour. Michael Cabot’s sensitive and clear direction embraces the tonal shifts, and gives Lvova great emotional space.

This is story of Rehana, the Angel of Kobane, a young law student. When Daesh rolled their caravan of Islamist terror into Kobane in Syria in 2014, the Angel waged her own war as a sniper, killing over 100 Daesh fighters. The Angel is as much legend as fact, but the story is a compelling one.

Lvova’s performance is astounding: committed, precise and emotionally engaged. It is so much more than a monologue: Lvova’s acting conveys breath of place and character. There is strength, pathos and naked anger in this textured, intelligent performance. It is impossible not to be moved by this powerhouse portrayal.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)