Have a laugh with Fallen Angels


Times were certainly different in the 1920s when playwright Noël Coward was testing the boundaries with the play Fallen Angels.

Fallen Angels dress rehearsal July 31 2016 080

Jane Banbury, played by Myrna McBrien can hardly contain herself as she meets an old lover, the dashing Maurice Duclos, Peter Smith, in the Noël Coward’s farce, Fallen Angels.

The period farce is currently on stage as part of the Highlands Summer Festival’s season.

Back then, pre-marital affairs were certainly frowned on and were rarely spoken of. But following the end of World War One and the onset of the “Roaring Twenties”, the moral landscape was changing. It was a perfect setting for satirist Noël Coward to exercise his sharp wit. His play, Fallen Angels is a prime example of his satire at work and, although tame to us almost 100 years later, it was a play that raised some eyebrows in its time. It provides an intriguing snap-shot of an era long gone.

Julia Sterroll and Jane Banbury, played by Emma Phillips and Myrna McBrien, have settled comfortably into married life, although they both admit that perhaps some of the early passion that marks the start of wedded life has faded. Their husbands, Fred and Willy, Kevin Scarf and Tom Regina, are heading out on a golfing weekend when the ladies receive post cards from a dashing Frenchman who they both dated and bedded prior to their marriage. Maurice, Duclos, played by Peter Smith, is in town and wants to meet them.

They two are all a-flutter as they prepare to get reacquainted with this man with whom they had enjoyed a passionate fling. The two swing madly between anticipated rekindled passion and self-admonition for even thinking of straying beyond their marital bounds. As they await Maurice’s arrival, they spiral into a drunken argument that seems to end their friendship as they struggle with their feelings over their lover from years ago.

Calmly floating through this turmoil, is a new maid in the Sterroll household, Saunders, who seems to know everything, from how to cure a wicked hang-over to surviving the blistering heat of the desert.

Pru Donaldson plays the know-it-all maid Saunders, and is the director of Fallen Angels.

Pru Donaldson plays the know-it-all maid Saunders, and is the director of Fallen Angels.

But more than that, Saunders, played by Pru Donaldson, who also directed the production, is a bemused observer of the whirlwind created by the return of Julia and Jane’s lover.

Fallen Angels is a sunny fun-filled romp, with a gorgeous set and fabulous period costumes, that brings the Highlands Summer Festival season to a close between now and August 12. (Miss Caledonia, which is on the board for three days, only has seats left for the Sunday performance. The Monday and Tuesday shows are already sold out.)

For more information and tickets, visit the website at www.highlandssummerfestival.on.ca or call the box office at 705-457-9933.


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