Theatre Review: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings at the Little Angel Theatre, Islington

Little Angel’s 50th anniversary production is a touching tale of magical realism

Life is dreary for the people of a deprived seaside village plagued by stormy weather and over-run with crabs.

But everything changes when a weary man with wings falls from the sky, miraculously healing a sick little boy and the ailments of many others that flock to the village for his magic touch.

The place is cloaked in colour overnight and the people prosper as the poor man is left caged in a yard eating potato peelings.

But it all disappears just as quick and, in the old man’s absence, the people are left wondering what he was and what his time there meant.

The play, directed by Mike Shepherd of Kneehigh Theatre, is inspired by Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s short tale of magical realism of the same name.

While themes of exploitation and greed run strong, it’s a charming and heart warming little gem of a production which touches as well as amuses in parts.

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The puppets are beautifully crafted – largely by the theatre’s founder Lyndie Wright – and their characters expertly brought alive by the cast of four puppeteers in a stunning display.

As suitable for adults as it is children aged six or above, the play, which comes at the end of a landmark 50th anniversary year for Little Angel, can’t fail to leave you with a happy glow.