Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens | Gay Theatre Festival
Star Rating: 2/5
Title: Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens
Review by: David O'Shaughnessy
Elegies for Angels, Punks & Raging Queens, or Elegies as it is often referred to as to save time, has a bit of a cult following amongst some musical theatre enthusiasts. A cycle of monologues and songs inspired by real life stories of people who suffered from AIDS during the beginning of the crisis in the 80's, a series of characters, living and deceased, take to the stage and offer their own perspectives and emotional responses to the epidemic. Bottom Dog Theatre Company, having previously produced the show, should be in prime position to engage with the book and music and really deliver an emotional, impassioned performance, but unfortunately fall short.
Enabling an acting ensemble of more than 20 performers, the show is expectedly not a riotous musical theatre romp. The four lead vocalists are perfectly capable to follow the score, and are suitably passionate and sincere with the material. However, the songs themselves, both in tone and placement with the previous monologues, are sometimes conflicted and grate against the overall message of the show. The monologue performers again are consistent and suitably engaged with their material, but the range in acting ability varies wildly, and with some of the roles doubled up, it's a shame the production didn't just triple or quadruple roles for the best actors and cut the chaff that doesn't necessarily let the show down, but highlights themselves to be less capable than their peers.
Technically there were issues with lighting and blocking, as well as a distractingly bright glare from the MD's piano, which breaks the engagement of the audience with the performances. A lot of the problems with Elegies weigh on the original book and music, but having previously worked on the show, Bottom Dog would be expected to do something fresh and more engaging than resting on the base level of production that's offered, which is a disappointment.
Story by EI Team | 09:00 | Friday 11th May 2012 | Theatre
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