Review: The Blue Angel, Open Space at Seagull Theatre, Lowestoft

It’s always good to see a company taking on new challenges and pushing boundaries. To take Pam Gems’ stage version of what was a successful film, does Suffolk’s Open Space credit.

Set in decadent Weimar Germany the plot centres on an esteemed, but pompous, aging professor who falls for a cabaret performer and seeks to give her respectability by marrying her.

He is ostracised by his social circle and does whatever degrading or criminal things it takes to restore his good name.

Emma Martin plays the brazen but vulnerable, ageless Lola, first played in the film by Marlene Dietrich. She makes an excellent, convincing job of it, as does Paul Baker, her infatuated, doomed lover.

Director David Green has applied a sensitive hand to what is a play of fragmented scenes, requiring careful juggling on a small stage. It’s a touring show, and adapts well in different venues.

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There is real strength in a large cast of cameo circus/cabaret/burlesque entertainers, including a clown who cannot speak.

Some songs and dances help the dark narrative along, including what became the signature tune, ‘Falling In Love Again’. The show has humour, pathos and versatile acting. Warmly recommended.

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David Porter

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