Angel

Henry Naylor
Torch Theatre Company
Gilded Balloon Patter Hoose

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Angel by Henry Naylor

Henry Naylor's Angel is returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this time by Torch Theatre. The story of Rehana, the “Angel of Kobane”, a famed and possibly entirely mythologised elite sniper in the battle between the Kurds and ISIS, is told in vivid form by Yasemin Ozdemir.

Ozdemir portrays the story of the simple but smart farmer’s daughter who dreams of law school but is thrust into the hell of the war with Islamic State, her attempts to flee and her hopes to find and reunite with her freedom-fighter father.

It’s a sweetly grounded tale, filled with a surprising amount of humour, offset with a great deal of pathos. Ozdemir is more than charismatic, both as the slightly petulant schoolgirl and as the ever-hardening young woman through her many adventures and guises.

If there is a qualm with the piece, it’s that the many adventures are a little too adventurous, with many of Rehana’s close scrapes and last-minute escapes feeling like the stuff of a Hollywood action film, not a supposedly true account. That said, it’s still a moving and exciting piece of theatre and a brilliant performance.

Reviewer: Graeme Strachan