Written by Gillian Juckes
Presented by Vauxy Theatre
Thursday 29th March 2012
Angel Delight shows us the story of Jenny; a woman who at first suspects,
and then eventually confirms that her long-standing husband Pete is cheating
on her with his secretary. Jenny is played by well known Liverpool actress
Eithne Browne, Browne brings a likability factor to the role right from
the beginning when, while decorating, she starts talking to the radio,
well, shouting at the radio which is claiming that we all have guardian
angels watching over us. As Jenny wonders why her husband is behaving
strangely, she asks the radio where her guardian angels are.
Enter two men, dressed as burglars with woolly hats, boiler suits and
wellington boots, with wings. Her guardian angels, played by Chris Darwin
and Francis Tucker, are comical before they even speak, and they both
play up to the audience’s laughter with cheeky grins and rolls of
their eyes. Explaining how they have been demoted to marital issues; with
Jenny and Pete being their last chance to prove themselves before they
are subjected to being retrained.
Darwin's comic timing is excellent, especially when he tells the story
of being given the job of a man about to jump of a bridge; explaining
how the man was taking his time coming to a decision about jumping or
not, Darwin explained the need of time efficiency in the guardian angel
business, and without the hint of a smile, he calmly explained he had
given the man a nudge to speed up the job. The audience roared with laughter
as he paused for effect.
Tucker was equally amusing in his roles as an angel, and every other female
in Jenny's life. In drag he played Sue; Pete's friend’s wife, Joan;
Pete's mum, Rebecca; Pete's mistress, but his brilliance lay in playing
Marcy, Jenny's glamorous best friend. With two ex husbands who happened
to be solicitors, Marcy thinks herself the person to guide Jenny through
this distressing time in her life. As ridiculous as she is helpful, Marcy
gives Tucker the chance to shine, allowing him the character to explore
the real comedy between two close 'women'.
Browne as Jenny is the standout performance; she radiates warmth as the
mother of two grown up children and hurt playing the betrayed wife. She
can hold her own with the comedy; when Pete moves in with his mistress,
Jenny receives an irate phone call from them both demanding to know if
she did the damage to Rebecca’s car, in an innocent, earnest way
she explains she would never do such a terrible thing, but as she hangs
up the phone, she has a playful smile on her face as she removes two wing
mirrors out of her bag and places them on the mantelpiece; the audience
loved it, fully supporting the character she had created. As a scouse
housewife her sarcasm and wit is clever, but her brilliance in this play
lay in the understated truth. The heartache etched on her face as she
spoke of Pete. That is where she earned her applause.
The play ends with Pete asking Jenny if they can meet up and talk, which
she agrees to. After spending much of the play in dowdy trousers and smocks,
she comes out for her applause dressed to kill, seemingly off to meet
Pete. We never know if she takes him back or not, but the audience was
firmly on her side as she stood there looking wonderful.
Overall a brilliant and amusing look at what happens when life throws
you a curveball, a few parts could have been edited out and not been missed;
the belly dancing class scene was gratuitous and unnecessary, as were
the unexpected advances Jenny received from men after Pete had moved out.
Luckily these scenes did not detract too much from a play which made the
audience laugh with and feel for its characters.