Angela’s Kitchen by Paul Capsis, Julian Meyrick and Hilary Bell
I love how I came across this play. The other night I went to see One Man, Two Guvnors at Sydney Theatre. They have a small performing arts bookshop in the foyer: GleeBooks. I’ve been to that theatre many times and not really looked in the bookshop. This time, my sister, who came along with me, wanted to have a look so I went on in. I think I avoid it because I know there are going to be a million and one books I just want to read but won’t have the money to buy.
I was having a browse and got to the play section. I’m always on the lookout now for plays with decent sized monologues in them that could be used for performance. I recognised Angela’s Kitchen because it had only recently been staged at Griffin Theatre about a year or so ago. So I started to have a flick through it and was thrilled to find, it is a one person show!
The Director, Julian Meyrick calls it an “autobiographical” play. It has a simple narrative weaved together using moments and stories drawn from actor Paul Capsis’s life. Despite its lack of tension it does capture an image of a generation of people migrating to Australia. Paul Capsis is Maltese and performs as several family members but namely his grandmother Angela throughout the play. There are phrases of Maltese spattered throughout and the possibilities for staging and characterisation are present. The role of Paul could be interchangeable with a female. Also, it’s a great springboard for other student’s to think about their own families and lives and create their own autobiographical piece for the HSC or otherwise.