Plenty More Angels in Heaven opens tonight at the Lighthouse Theatre, and runs until Sept 17. We caught up with writer and director Alexa Klash, who tells us about the concept of the play, its celestial characters and what it’s like to wrangle a cast of existential, office-working angels.
What’s the concept of Plenty More Angels in Heaven?
In the beginning, there were angels – beings of light formed from the stars. But, while some only wanted to play games, certain celestial beings set forth to set up a new order: a towering business called Heaven.0, where the afterlife is just another desk job.
Or at least, that’s our official go of it. Really, it’s a crazy twist on a lot of different origin stories and creation tales. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably be slightly creeped out by our God figure, all in all it’s a wild ride.
Are there any other plays you could compare it to?
If there are when you see it, let us know – we’d be keen to see them. It’s an original play written by myself. A lot of the ideas came from my own research into nature, creation, and human psychology while completing my B.A. at uni.
Is it a comedy or a tragedy?
Both. Absolutely both. The first person who I showed the script to – one of the actors, Tom Southwell – had been told it was a comedy, and following his read through told me no, absolutely not. This is melodramatic and dark, as well as a good satire.
What kind of characters will we meet?
Our main friends are the Inbetweeners – Yahweh, Lucifer, and Persedice. These are angels with a bit more depth, more emotion, and can travel between dimensions. Persedice is pure innocence, and Lucifer is pure love. But Yahweh is pure evil.
Then there are the rest of the angels: Jeremial, the actuary and prayer hearer; Zadkiel, the HR and head of meme production; Sandaphon, the messenger; Teliana and Raziel, the story makers; and Roguel, the manager.
Then, there’s heaps of humans… Mother Mary, Abbie, Messiah, Cain, and Max.
What’s your favourite scene to watch unfold?
Scene 6. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s the Office of the Holy Trinity and it is SO GOOD. It’s got a lot of laughs, and also is the real turning point of the show.
What’s it like working with a completely original piece?
Since I wrote it, directing is a bit weird, to be honest. Actors are frequently asking ‘How would you say this?’ or Tech is asking me ‘What purpose was this intended to serve?’ But, it’s all been great, because I really wanted all the people I chose to work on the project to bring themselves and their ideas. I’ve written it and I can allow them to incorporate new scenes and ad-lib at times, and basically have fun with it.
What was the most challenging part about bringing the production together?
Everyone needed wings. Oh my gosh, EVERYONE needed wings, and they had a costume change that needed wings.
Why should people go see it, and what do you want people to take away from the production?
I want people to see this play because I have a massive ego, obviously. Jokes. Mainly, I want people to enjoy the story, but also take away from it just how precious and beautiful the world is, and how every little thing has an affect on everything else. You’re coming to watch the universe be made, and getting a reminder that you are the children of the stars, that this is your origin story as well, this is your beautiful little life planet.