by Lot Vekemans, translated by Rina Vergano
Eastern Angles and Company of Angels
Cast: Janet Bamford, Eugenia Caruso, Adam Best

The motorway greasy spoon diner is a place of constant transition, where regulars drop in irregularly, and despite the constant hum of traffic outside the sense of isolation always lingers. Yet, if can also be a place of safety and consistency, as seen in this powerful play by Lot Vekemans.

Katalijne (Euginio Caruso) is an 18-year-old with autism, and her mother (Janet Bamford) runs her life like clockwork, as in her eyes she is a machine. This static life is disrupted by the arrival of Remco (Adam Best), a young, oafish truck driver with idealistic dreams of becoming a “Samurai of the road”. Katalijne’s emotions suddenly awaken, and the play continues down a dark path as she struggles with her internal incomprehension of her emotional upheaval, and the power play between Remco and her mother over her future. Remco, representing freedom, also depicts the way it has no safety nets for the unprepared; Katalijne’s mother represents safety, but also what is essentially life imprisonment by the tarmac.

The set was sparsely furnished for this production, and the props were mostly mimed by the characters, yet this merely allowed the quality of the performances to shine. Best’s portrayal of Remco carried across both the charms of his simple nature, and his underlying emotional depression over a series of dreams quashed by fate; yet the most striking element was the interaction between Caruso and Bamford, their dynamic played out like boxers circling each other before the first bell. Caruso’s portrayal of autism was, above all, the most impressive acting feat, convincingly using slight tics and speech styles to carry across the condition, but never descending into cliché – beneath the robotic, misunderstanding exterior was a soul screaming to get out. A superb production, with a finely done translation out of the original Dutch, made it clear why this tour has been given accolades up and down the country.

Ian Steadman

by Lot Vekemans, translated by Rina Vergano
Eastern Angles and Company of Angels
Cast: Janet Bamford, Eugenia Caruso, Adam Best

The motorway greasy spoon diner is a place of constant transition, where regulars drop in irregularly, and despite the constant hum of traffic outside the sense of isolation always lingers. Yet, if can also be a place of safety and consistency, as seen in this powerful play by Lot Vekemans.

Katalijne (Euginio Caruso) is an 18-year-old with autism, and her mother (Janet Bamford) runs her life like clockwork, as in her eyes she is a machine. This static life is disrupted by the arrival of Remco (Adam Best), a young, oafish truck driver with idealistic dreams of becoming a “Samurai of the road”. Katalijne’s emotions suddenly awaken, and the play continues down a dark path as she struggles with her internal incomprehension of her emotional upheaval, and the power play between Remco and her mother over her future. Remco, representing freedom, also depicts the way it has no safety nets for the unprepared; Katalijne’s mother represents safety, but also what is essentially life imprisonment by the tarmac.

The set was sparsely furnished for this production, and the props were mostly mimed by the characters, yet this merely allowed the quality of the performances to shine. Best’s portrayal of Remco carried across both the charms of his simple nature, and his underlying emotional depression over a series of dreams quashed by fate; yet the most striking element was the interaction between Caruso and Bamford, their dynamic played out like boxers circling each other before the first bell. Caruso’s portrayal of autism was, above all, the most impressive acting feat, convincingly using slight tics and speech styles to carry across the condition, but never descending into cliché – beneath the robotic, misunderstanding exterior was a soul screaming to get out. A superb production, with a finely done translation out of the original Dutch, made it clear why this tour has been given accolades up and down the country.

by Ian Steadman

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