ANGEL Exit, set up in Dorset by Tamsin Fessey after her graduation from the celebrated French drama school Lecoq, has established itself as an exciting experimental physical theatre company.
Perhaps its most experimental work is The Drive, currently on tour and featuring Tamsin and her co-director Lynne Forbes. They not only play the two characters but have devised and directed the piece. Inspired by recent researches into memory, a friend’s drive to the Scandinavian parental home of a late friend with her belongings, and the desire to create a play for women not revolving around men, The Drive is not so much a work in progress but in exploration.
The clever set, surrounded by the technological gizmos of 21st century life, takes the two estranged university friends from Muswell Hill almost to Oslo as they try to rekindle their relationship. At Manchester University they were four young women on the brink of life. A tragedy brought their dreams to a stop, and now a second death has made them re-evaluate, via the unreliable prompts of memory.
Angel Exit has always explored the borders between fantasy and reality, utilising the disciplined physical training to transport its audiences across the boundary. In The Drive, Tamsin and Lynne expose the practice, and mostly it works brilliantly.
I suspect that an outside eye might have pulled them back from those moments that serve to over complicate and confuse the narrative.
The Drive is funny, thought-provoking and very clever – another step in the company’s development and a fascinating insight for those who have followed the Angel’s progress.