As part of the National Theatre Live broadcasts, we have been privy to some of the West End’s most prestigious plays from playwrights that span far and wide. However, Tony Kushner’s multi-award winning two-part play Angels in America is something else. You will never see anything like this in your life. Ever. Directed by Olivier and Tony award winner Marianne Elliott comes a two-part epic that has been coined “a gay fantasia on national themes”.
In a time where our country is about to put in a non-obligatory postal vote on same-sex marriage, this work sheds light on issues and themes that go far deeper than that of being gay or not. This a fantastic piece of writing that is very well crafted, exploring ideas of magic, realism, the supernatural and the subconscious. What starts off as quite a realistic and domestic setting soon grows beyond that as these incredible actors delve into the lives of these rather tortured characters.
Starring Andrew Garfield, Nathan Lane, Denise Gough, James McArdle, Russell Tovey, Susan Brown, Amanda Lawrence, and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett is a play set in America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, these New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. It’s about understanding what a meaningful human relationship is, the fear of being infected, obsession with politics, how religion is a battlefield and not a sanctuary, racism and drug abuse. These are all still issues that many men and women deal with today in 2017. This two-part work is a moment for us as a society to reflect on what our value system is, understand who we are as individuals and embody our true self.
In the way that these characters fight their own demons, one thing still remains the same – we are all human and we are extraordinary. There is a wonderful sense of wit, performance and life that is injected into this work; a true testament to the creative team and actors.
National Theatre Live’s Angels in America is in select cinemas around Australia now. For all listings, and to see when Part 1 and Part 2 are screening, head here.