Angelus is a very funny comedy that has a brain behind it
Angelus is a theological comedy taking place in the cavernous space of the Library Theatre in the Royal College of Physicians. It tells the tale of two rogue angels who steal God’s book of creation and find themselves stranded in a barren wasteland, only to realise they’re not alone.
The cast are superb, bringing an incredible amount of energy to their roles and keeping the play rattling along at a fast pace. Their slick movements and interactions onstage show just how comfortable they are inhabiting the fascinating universe the play constructs. The tech team also clearly know what they are doing - lights and sound are used to pitch perfect effect.
One of the things I enjoyed the most about the script is the universe it creates. We’re given small hints about what angelic life is like outside of the play’s setting, and these titbits help make this world feel more real.
Aside from being very funny, the show deals with some interesting theological questions. Is God truly infallible? Can you create a perfect code of morality? And what would you do if you could shape the world?
The play’s problems show up in the latter half of the performance. The emergence of the third character feels narratively a tad superfluous. While excellently played, he doesn’t contribute anything new and takes the play away from interesting discussions towards straight comedy. But the play does find its feet again and ends with a thrilling bang.
In the end, Angelus is a very funny comedy that has a brain behind it, willing to ask big questions but able to make them entertaining at the same time. It succeeds at creating a fascinating world I’d love to visit again.