There’s an infectiously heartfelt sense of seizing the day about Angel to Vampire!, a character-based comic cabaret by Nigel Osner.
Star rating: ***
Venue: SpaceTriplex (Venue 38)
Osner came late to performance, he tells us, after careers in law and the civil service, and he conveys his late-blooming passion for self-expression with both modesty and zeal. He’s also tremendously talented and very entertaining.
Performed to backing tracks, Osner’s songs are well-turned, amusing and evocative, his characters ranging from young men on misguided quests for love to middle-aged types who are taken for a ride or content with low-wattage love (“We won’t be setting records for endurance. / We’ll be taking out some medical insurance.”)
There’s more fantastical material too – the titular angel, who prefers life on earth to celestial routine, and vampire, who has designs on the audience – and moments that conjure Marlene Dietrich and Mae West. If the music is assured, Osner is on less certain ground in between songs: his patter, though sympathetic and likeable, is short on sparkle or wit. Nor is it clear what his array of regional accents delivers in terms of expressive meaning.
But it’s a pleasure to see a performer of such distinctive ability flex his wings – and occasionally bare a fang.
Until 27 August. Today 6:05pm.