Dame Edna inspired performer takes Angel Gabriel to Edinburgh Fringe
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 July 2016
Zoe Paskett talks to barrister turned writer and performer Nigel Osner about his Edinburgh-bound one man show that explores his yearnings.
A Goth who hates labels, an American lamenting his love life and a dissatisfied Archangel Gabriel – never thought you’d see all of these in the same place?
Well, one Hampstead Garden Suburb resident has decided that now is the time, writing and starring in a new one man show featuring all of these characters in the space of 50 minutes.
Inspired by the likes of Noel Coward, Marlene Dietrich and Dame Edna Everage, 68 year old Nigel Osner left his life as a barrister to pursue a career in the dramatic arts.
“When I was working for the Ministry of Justice, I didn’t really feel that I’d got to where I really wanted to go,” he says.
Osner has given his show, titled Angel to Vampire, the theme of his own yearnings and illustrates this with a number monologues, songs and stories performed by a host of different characters.
Each one represents a longing that he has experienced at some point in his life.
“I have a monologue by an Irish Archangel Gabriel.
“He’s fed up with being God’s messenger and going around telling people they’re going to give birth and never having time to practice his trumpet, which he loves.
“So he leaves heaven and goes to New Orleans to join a jazz band.”
He compares the bureaucracy of Heaven to the bureaucracy of his legal career and speaks of the disbelief he experienced at work when he first floated the idea of working part time to pursue writing and acting.
“I went to see the head of human resources at the time and he couldn’t understand the concept of a man wanting to work part time.
“When he interviewed me he sat me down and shone a desk lamp into my eyes and basically interrogated me.
“I remained there full time for a bit longer after that.”
Thankful to have escaped in 2008, he is finally taking his show to Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year.
To add to the flavour of the show, Osner dons custom made angel wings and fangs, the latter of which he has fitted around his teeth by a professional fangsmith – he assures this is a real job.
“If you’re going to talk or sing with them in, they have to fit.
“The ones you can buy at a joke shop, even the quite good ones, aren’t good enough to speak with.”
While vampires and Goths may give parts of the show a downbeat tone, it’s not all about fruitless longing.
“I’ve got a female character who says: if you have yearnings don’t just moan about them.
“Get on and do something about it.”
Osner’s Edinburgh preview for Angel to Vampire shows at the Wheatsheaf in Rathbone Place on July 28.