Angel to Vampire at SpaceTriplex (Venue 38) is the story in songs (often in rhyming couplets) and monologues through the many different lives of Nigel Osner from “good friend to the ladies”, barrister at law, performance artist and London vampire.
This show is one of those little gems that you sometimes find buried beneath the mountain that is The Fringe, and is a quirky but charming hour with Nigel as through different characters we explore not only his life, ambitions and desires, but also get asked to question our own, and how they change as we age through our lives. A theme of wanting to find that one true love resonates through the whole performance, but what if that comes later in life, are you then willing to give up your personal independence for it.
This is a voyage of personal discovery as Nigel struggles with the conformity around him and is desperate to break free of it both as an individual and an artist, and it is a show that I would love to see expanded and find out more about some of the characters brought to life on stage...characters that may or may not be Nigel.
Music for the show is by Sammy Fain, Mole, Steve Nash and Nigel Osner and there are rhythmic elements to some of the songs that remind me a little of two of my favourite albums from Lou Reed – “Coney Island Baby” and “Transformer”. Visually for this show Nigel is a bit of a composite from Lou Reed at the time of these albums and Frank’n’Furter from The Rocky Horror show. The music does have that 1970s feel to it at times but the lyrics are very relevant. This show could easily have fitted into that 1970s film classic Cabaret, but also has tones of earlier 1920s and 1930s cabaret about it. The monologues at times have that vintage feeling of Oscar Wilde about them.
Direction for the show is by Janine Wood, and all the show really requires is a classic “cabaret venue” to give it the atmosphere that it really deserves..
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Review by Tom King