Fallen Angels

Victoria Porter (left) and Kirsty Cox play Julia and Jane in London Repertory Players production of Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels 

Fallen Angels: Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne

Neatly updating Noel Coward’s 1920s comedy to the not quite yet swinging sixties proves an appropriately masterful move for London Repertory Players.

It is late 1962 and The Beatles are about to provide the soundtrack to an era of change. Not that Julia and Jane - young, married and aspirational -  know that yet. They still inhabit a world dictated by etiquette, attitude and expectation. Appearances are everything

 So when their husbands, Fred and Willie, head off for a weekend on the golf course and Maurice - a past lover of them both - appears on the metaphorical horizon, the scene is set for some wonderfully comedic chaos.

Victoria Porter as Julia and Kirsty Cox as Jane are hugely impressive as the two friends, conniving and clashing over what is and what could be. Driven by a combination of excitement, fear and forbidden desire, they drink too much and summon up barely hidden jealousies. The physical energy and slick choreography of their performances is key to the pace and enjoyment of this play which never flags. 

Meanwhile in a stand-out support role that further shows how strong and talented London Reps female actors are, Hepzibah Roe as Saunders the maid is on hand to try and keep things on the straight and narrow.

The male actors may have a little less to do but certainly don’t fail to impress. Neil James and Al Wadlan are the stuffed-shirt husbands who suddenly find their upper-crust egos and sense of certainty under threat. While Mitch Capaldi is full of knowing fun as Maurice.

Intriguingly, though some of the dialogue might seem a little anachronistic, Fallen Angels, which was written almost a century ago, still works perfectly. Times may change but Coward’s style and wit endure and of course, essential truths and fundamental insecurities remain the same. 

A wonderful production directed with pace and style by Richard Mullins. Fallen Angels plays the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne, until Saturday 13th August. Tickets from The Tivoli, phone 01202 885566 or online at tivoliwimborne.co.uk More info at londonrepoertoryplayers.co.uk

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2022