Review: Fallen Angels


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Review – Noël Coward’s Fallen Angels – Cheriton Players.

There’s nothing like a good laugh, and the Cheriton Players are always up for that… whatever the theme.

And the theme here once caused a great stir. Noël Coward’s ’Fallen Angels’ has a background of loose morals, pre-marital sex and two women contemplating adultery with someone they both once knew – while their husbands are off on a golfing weekend.

Fallen Angels

We probably think nothing of it today. Things were different back in 1925 when it was written though, and the play only went ahead in London through the personal intervention of the Lord Chamberlain.

It managed to get banned altogether in Amsterdam – but was soon picked up on Broadway.

None other than film and theatre siren Tallulah Bankhead appeared in the first production in London, albeit at the last minute. Since the original production and revival, it’s gone on to be performed around the world.

Denise Truscott and Fiona Mackay take on the roles of Julia and Jane admirably, especially in the third act where there are some real laugh-out-loud lines.

Fallen Angels

Their ‘suitor’ – Maurice Duclos – was wonderfully portrayed by Pete Shepherd, who seemed to have an entire fan club to himself in Row F.

The set was just beautiful – as were Denise and Fiona’s 1920s costumes which were elegant and sparkling.

Fallen Angels

The audience really appreciated the parts of the play in which the maid Saunders appeared. Claire Smith had just the right amount of ‘know-it-all’ about her.

Hats off as well to the person who thought of including a short black-and-white film of the two husbands (played by John Weston and Matt Jones) on their golfing weekend which split Act 1 and Act 2… genius!

Fallen Angels

You had to think about the meaning of some of the words that were in the script that appeared very dated… I don’t know, are you allowed to change Coward’s words…?

However, a lot of thought, time and effort went into this… and it showed!

Kevin Gover

(Images: Craig Robertson)