Exterminating Angel – An Improvisation


This is a mysterious play. There is no plot as such but rather situations which develop. The play’s opening could not be more banal. Tom and Chrissie are holding a dinner party for a few friends – James, his girlfriend Sarah and Gerry who is on his own. Their conversation centres on anti-perspirants and moisturisers.

The dinner party comes to an end and the first signs of abnormality are revealed. As the couples are making their farewells, Gerry is left awkwardly on his own. When the final farewells appear to be over, the guests are reluctant to leave.

From this point on, all five seem trapped. This is an improvised play and the sequence of events will alter from day to day. When I saw the play, the mood convincingly changed from humour to menace and back again.

The conversational style employed was very natural. The characters held separate exchanges in twos and threes at the same time, completing each other’s sentences and interjecting comments. This contrasted starkly with a sudden darker side revealed by some of the characters.

It does not seem a play to seek explanations. I just went along with the flow and it did become a compelling watch.

Reviewed by Ben

Pleasance Courtyard: 33

1 to 27 August 2012 (not 13 & 20)

14.00 – 15.100

Fringe Programme Page Number: 277

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