Times Square Angel

Theatre, Musicals
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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This cult New York send up of 'It's A Wonderful Life' feels a little clawless in its first London production

You’d think glam outfits, drunks, angels and a snow machine would be all you need for a successfully festive show, and this purposefully clichéd send up of ‘A Christmas Carol’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ and any other seasonal classic which involves a meddling angel sure has the makings of a fun evening out.

Written by legendary American drag queen Charles Busch and a cult hit across the pond, ‘Times Square Angel’ tells of bitchy stage performer Irish O’Flanagan (Ian Stroughair, aka Velma Celli) and her potentially final 24 hours on the planet, in which an ex-alive ex-magician with slight anger issues attempts to prove to her that her selfish ways are about to end in disaster. Though flawed in a good few spots, the storyline is a fun, gritty spin on the traditional version and the show flies along through the big-haired diva’s past, present and future.

Sadly the performances in Bronagh Lagan’s production lack the fizz that would make the script the catty riot it was intended to be; Stroughair is great at flouncing around in heels but never quite lets us in on Irish’s wickedness. Perhaps some of the one-liners are lost in transatlantic translation, but after a knowing-wink-filled start the show seems to  forget it was supposed to be funny. But thanks to a conclusion filled with energetic caricatures and a pinch of extra Christmas kindness from the audience, you’ll leave without a hint of humbug.

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