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Angel Street
a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Patrick Hamilton

COMPANY : Staged Right Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Wynne-Russell House [WEBSITE]
ID# 5384

SHOWING : October 26, 2018 - November 04, 2018

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

"Angel Street" tells the story of the Manninghams, who live on Angel Street in 19th century London. As the curtain rises, all appears to be the essence of Victorian tranquility. It is soon apparent, however, that Mr. Manningham, a suavely handsome man, is slowly driving his gentle, devoted wife, Bella, to the brink of insanity with an insinuating kindness that masks more sinister motives.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Gene Paulsson
Policeman/Rough understudy R. Chandler Bragg
Detective Rough J. Michael Carroll
Nancy Sydney Dirigo
Policeman Art Fischer
Elizabeth Marianne Geyer
Mrs. Manningham Cat Roche
Mr. Manningham Martin A. Russell
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Intimate Gaslight
by playgoer
Sunday, November 18, 2018
4.5
You’re in a room about 25 feet by 12 feet, with a single row of seating along each long wall. Between the rows there’s a chaise longue. At the far end, there’s a fireplace and two curtained windows, with a desk beside a door on the long wall. A small circular table and two chairs are placed between the fireplace and the chaise. It’s very intimate, with entrances from the doorway beside the desk and from the door the audience entered through. You’re mere inches from the action.

Spencer Estes’ set design is intimately related to his lighting design. The two major seating platforms for the audience are backed with upright wood panels that hide the wiring to gas-style lamps positioned near the top of the panels. There’s also a lamp with a glass chimney on the table. It, like the lamps along the wall, can dim and brighten as the script requires. It’s very atmospheric and extremely effective.

Costumes are also extremely effective. Costumer Nancye Quarles has brought 1880 Baltimore to life in the costumes of the ladies and the men of the cast. There are maid outfits, elegant suits, ties of various styles, floor-length dresses, and memorable hats. Along with the historic nature of the 1826 Wynne-Russell House, the props and set decoration (by Sharon Bower), makeup (by Sarah-Jane May), and costumes draw you into a totally believable world of yesteryear.

All this would be meaningless, of course, if the script and acting didn’t also transport you to this world. They do. The script is strong, and director Gene Paulsson has encouraged his cast to dive headlong into their roles, bringing them convincingly to life. The only quibble I have with the direction is that Mr. Paulsson has the maid Elizabeth (Marianne Geyer) mime catlike movements with an obviously sarcastic intent, when it has been established that Elizabeth is the more circumspect of the servants, while Nancy (Sydney Dirigo) is the cheeky one.

Aside from that, the performances are admirable. Ms. Geyer is a delight as Elizabeth, and Ms. Dirigo throws herself into the sassiness of her role. Martin A. Russell is forceful, with a Svengali-like charisma, as Mr. Manningham, and Cat Roche is emotionally fraught and fragile as his put-upon wife. Detective Rough (R. Chandler Bragg at the performance I attended) is played with skill and intensity, and Art Fischer fulfills the small demands of his role as a policeman. It’s a first-rate cast in a first-rate production. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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