Angels had quite an esoteric plot from the word go. Solitary security guard Nick Prentice is hauled in before a 1984-esque interrogation to be questioned about pushing an acquaintance off a car park roof; he is held under suspicion due to the smutty soft-porn he writes as a hobby, only to then be rescued by none other than Scarlett Johansson. Iain Robertson has a beautiful Scottish brogue - virtually the only thing that prevented me from dozing off - but even his charmingly enunciated consonants couldn’t guide me through the complete bewilderment that was the plot.

I get the impression that watching Angels under the influence of some kind of narcotic substance may have been a wise idea; perhaps then I would genuinely have seen Angels, which would have been a small commiseration.

Isolated moments in the play - such as when the metaphors in the script took a break and I could actually understand what was going on without the need to smoke something – managed to convey a fey kind of elegance. Robertson’s sublime vocals made a three course meal plus ice-cream of lines such as ‘My feet donnae ken where they’re puttin’ themself’. Prentice, when played as a wide-eyed dreamer rendered speechless by the guitar shaped goddess that is Scarlett Johansson, was endearing. For a while.

What the connection was with Danny Glover (the roof-jumper); or the relevance of the Scottish Inquisition who interrogated Prentice; or the celestial appearance of a celebrity guardian angel, I have not a clue. It may be an old-fashioned notion, but I prefer stories that provide a general coherence to proceedings. Though Robertson should definitely have his own radio show.

Reviews by Laura Francis

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The Blurb

A yarn-spinning loner rides a murder rap in a grotty Leith cop shop. Guilty? Detective has no doubts. Scarlett Johansson has. This uproarious, riveting Kafkaesque whodunnit reworks the hardboiled crime thriller. ‘Poetic genius.’ **** (Scotsman).

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