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March, 2014
'Hobson's Choice.' .


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Fallen Angels poster, courtesy of Canterbury Art


Poster by Canterbury Art

NOEL COWARD'S FALLEN ANGELS

13 - 15 March, 2008, at

The Playhouse, Whitstable.

FALLEN ANGELS, is one of Coward's lesser known and not very often performed plays, but it is still Coward at his inimitable best, gay, debonair, infinitely sophisticated in the in the style that won him his reputation as the most successful purveyor of high comedy in the theatre. It premiered in 1925 with the notorious Tallulah Bankhead and the less notorious Edna Best in the leads. It had a West End revival in 2000 with Felicity Kendal and Frances de La Tour.

The Play:

The story, told in three acts, is a frothy nothing, but treated as only Coward can. It provides a continuously amusing two hours, highlighted by recurring moments of insane hilarity. The plot revolves around Julia and Jane, best friends and both happily married to Fred and Willy respectively for five years, but before their marriages, both had brief affairs in Italy with Maurice, a Frenchman and great charmer. Now Maurice is visiting London and has asked to see them both. Luckily both husbands are away for the day playing golf, and Julia and Jane nervously await Maurice's call. How they reminisce, quarrel, make up, get high on champagne and quarrel again, what happens when Maurice finally arrives very late, and the unexpected return of the husbands are some of the threads of the plot. All is witnessed by Saunders, Julia's new maid, seemingly prim and proper but has been positively everywhere and done absolutely everything.

FALLEN ANGELS was nearly refused its licence as "brightly written, but extremely dubious" and that "the women's obvious willingness to go wrong, and about their pre nuptial going wrong, would cause too great a scandal". But Lord Cromer passed it, with only a few dialogue changes, because he saw it as "so much unreal farcical comedy". In 1925 the play shocked, but audiences queued for seats. The play no longer shocks but it still provides great amusement and entertainment.


THE CHARACTERS:

Julia Sterrol and Jane Banbury are virtual twins, as are their husbands Fred and Willy. Julia's life is essentially identical to Jane's, Fred's to Willy's. Both women have settled down to respectable middle class lives with dull but decent men. Both Fred and Willy love golf, perhaps a bit more than their wives. Both marriages have reached a similar pass: We're awfully happy", as Jane says, "and there's a lovely firm basis of comradeship and affection and all that, but the real 'being in love' part is dead!" The new maid Saunders has had a full, rich life and nothing surprises her, while Maurice is an Englishman's version of a Frenchman. He is without repressions and is all suave and self-indulgent.

Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
The Fallen Angels....
...with Saunders
Fred and Willy
Julia and Saunders
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
Willy and Julia
Jane, Maurice and Julia
Fallen Angels
Fallen Angels
Final bow
Maurice Duclos
The cast and all important crew.



Fallen Angels, a play by Noel Coward - click for more information

 

Drunken rivals left audience captivated.

Audiences at this "amoral and disgusting" play will find little to offend in the 21st century, but delicious frissons of sexual anticipation were gloriously maintained in this production.

Despite two married friends' shared goal of rekindling passion with their mutual ex-lover Maurice, they were given distinctive individual personalities.

Anne Hancox made Julia largely confident and serene, while Samantha Grant's Jane was highly strung and mildly hysterical.

Of the supporting roles, Jim Ackhurst played Julia's husband Fred with gentle reasonableness; and Andreas Lowson as Willy (Jane's husband) reflected the suavity of Coward himself.

Mark Smith as Maurice, tantalizingly appearing only in the final scene, gave the ex-lover all the Gallic charm needed for empathy with the besotted ladies and Jill Ackhurst's expressive facial and body language conveyed every nuance of the maid Saunders' contempt for the gentry.

Derek Standing's early modernist set, Susanna Gerken's delightful costumes and Pip Piacentino's skilled direction all contributed to a stunning production.

But the greatest acclaim belongs to Hancox and Grant for their outstanding performances as the two ladies whose transformation from sophisticated wives to hilariously drunken rivals so captivated everybody.

Noel Coward's
"Fallen Angels"
performed by The Canterbury Players
at Whitstable Playhouse

Reviewed by:
Delia Dengeon.
Kentish Gazette.
Thursday March27, 2008.

OUR SPONSORS FOR "FALLEN ANGELS" WERE:.

Jesters.com

Traditional Games and Toys

PH Accountancy.

 

Director:

Pip Piacentino
Pip Piacentino
Read more about Pip?
Click HERE

Pip Piacentino
Committee Member
Actor: Play It Again Sam; Arsenic And Old Lace
Performance Director: The Accrington Pals, Fallen Angels; Dark of the Moon;

Pip fell in love with Britain when stationed here with the US Navy and decided to make it his home. His links with Kent, especially Deal, stretch back to 1964.

Pip first appeared on stage in New York when his father brought the three-year old Pip on stage to liven up his act. He is equally at home as an actor, director or playwright. A member of the South London Theatre Centre, he directed many plays for them including Peter Whelan’s "The Accrington Pals" which he also directed in April 2007 with Canterbury Players. Pip is to direct Canterbury Players in "Fallen Angels" by Noel Coward.



The cast:

As Julia
Anne Hancox
Anne Hancox. Actor.

Anne Hancox
Committee Member
Actor: RolePlay; Play It Again, Sam; Fallen Angels; Bazaar and Rummage; Two; The Vortex.

Anne's early performances were all in music theatre. Later came a shift to straight drama.

Her involvement with Canterbury's long-established amateur theatre group Playcraft for 21 years and now, with The Canterbury Players has provided a wealth of acting opportunities.

She has enjoyed numerous leading roles ranging from Nora in Ibsen's "A Doll's House", Katharine in Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew"; the drunken and shameless Arabella in Ayckbourn's "RolePlay" and Julia in "Fallen Angels" by Noel Coward.



As Jane

Sam Grant
Sam Grant

Sam Grant
Actor,Singer: "Fallen Angels".

Sam started in Am Dram as a teenager with Deal Dramatic Society, then took a long break to travel and work abroad.

She is a member of Ramsgate Operatic Society and Broadstairs Dickens Players, for both of which she is also a committee member.

Lead roles of a musical nature include Sally Smith in ‘Me and my Girl’, ‘Prince Orlofsky in ‘Die Fledermaus’ and Carrie Snow in ‘Carousel’. ‘Straight’ roles include Jean in Ray Cooney’s ‘Funny Money’ and the dual role of Ann and Sybil in Terence Rattigan’s ‘Separate Tables’.

Sam's day job is Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). She lives in Margate with husband, Paul.



As Willy
Andreas Lowson
Andreas Lowson

Andreas Lowson
Actor: La Ronde; Play It Again Sam; Fallen Angels; Much Ado about Nothing; Arsenic And Old Lace; Night Must Fall.

Andreas is descending the ladder of nobility. In La Ronde, he was only a count whereas the previous year he was a duke (Twelfth Night) and before that a prince (Caucasian Chalk Circle). He has, however, deigned to play mere commoners in such roles as a dotty priest (Gosforth’s Fete), a burglar, an inspector (Disposing of the Body), a solicitor, a boss and an eccentric puppeteer uncle and now, a husband, for Noel Coward's "Fallen Angels", then back all but full circle as Count John in Much Ado about Nothing.



As Fred
Jim Akhurst
Jim Akhurst

Jim Akhurst
Actor: The Accrington Pals; Palace of Varieties; Fallen Angels; Arsenic And Old Lace; The Vortex; Dark of the Moon; The Crucible

Jim was recently cast as the playwright Bertolt Brecht in “I’ve Looked in the Window at Diamonds”, a musical show about the life of composer Kurt Weill.  Brecht wanted to “keep the audience guessing at what will happen next” and Dark of the Moon has a few surprises for the audience.

Over the past few years, Jim has played the roles of Fred in Noel Coward's Fallen Angels, Arthur Boggis in The Accrington Pals, Doctor Einstein in Arsenic And Old Lace and, most recently, Bruce Fairlight in The Vortex.



As Saunders
Jill Akhurst
Jill Akhurst. Actor. Director.

Jill Akhurst
Director – Palace of Varieties; Bazaar and Rummage; Night Must Fall; The Crucible.
Director's Assistant The Accrington Pals
Singer of saucy songs; Actor Fallen Angels; Two; Arsenic And Old Lace; The Vortex; Dark of the Moon; Lady Chatterley's Lover.

I directed Night Must Fall twenty years ago in London, where it was a great success.  I had a good cast then, but I've got an even better cast now.  This is a superbly written play which, with good actors, cannot fail to keep the audience in a state of suspense right up until the last moment

Jill recently appeared at the Gulbenkian as Clara in The Vortex by Noel Coward and has sung the part of Lotte Lenya in “I’ve Looked in the Window at Diamonds” for the Really Promising Company.

One of her favourite roles was as Aunt Abby in Arsenic And Old Lace for the Canterbury Players in October 2009.



As Maurice Duclos
Mark Smith
Mark Smith. Actor and the web site manager. More about Mark.
My Facebook page.

More information regarding Mark?

Mark Charles Smith
Actor: For Canterbury Players Gosforth's Fete; La Ronde; Fallen Angels; The Accrington Pals; Much Ado About Nothing; Arsenic And Old Lace; Dark of the Moon, Night Must Fall; The Importance of Being Earnest, Barefoot in the Park.
Sound Engineer for Blue Remembered Hills.
For Chilham Players: Seasons Greetings
For Kent Shakespeare Company: Twelfth Night.
A monologue orator for The Penis Monologues for the theatre company, Unfinished Business

Mark has appeared in a number of Canterbury Players productions, as well as end of year short films at universities in Canterbury and Hastings, as a film extra for various productions filmed in Kent including "The Other Boleyn Girl", "Wild Child", the 2011 production of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", as a player in a Chris Tarrant TV programme, as a major player in a KETV production called 'The Sea Shall Have Them' and recently took part in a pilot for a new sitcom aimed at getting onto the UK terrestrial channels.

Mark is looking for more TV and film work to get him out of the office once in a while.

My Facebook page.
Links to recent videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY9qcWjPomk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwE-cdMAu88


Stagecraft:

Derek Standing
Derek Standing. Set design and construction.
More Derek....

Derek Standing
President
Set Design & Construction

Some 42 years ago, Derek responded to an urgent advert from Canterbury Dramatic Society and although only 18 he got a job and even survived giving the cast a nightmare on his first set because he did not know that one has to add size glue to the powder paint.

Recent productions: RolePlay; The Birthday Party; The Accrington Pals; Play It Again Sam; Fallen Angels; Much Ado About Nothing; The Vortex; Night Must Fall; The Importance of Being Earnest; Barefoot In the Park; Lady Chatterley's Lover.



Stage Management
Liz Findlay
Liz Findlay. Stage manager and actor.

Liz Findlay
Actor: Play It Again Sam; Much Ado About Nothing;
Stage Manager The Birthday Party, La Ronde, The Accrington Pals, Gosforth's Fete; Play It Again Sam, Fallen Angels, Blue Remembered Hills; Two; Arsenic And Old Lace; The Vortex; Night Must Fall.

Liz joined the players in 2005 as prompt for Roleplay, rose to the position of chief of teapot bearing and has been stage managing since then in Pinter's "Birthday Party", Ayckbourne's "Gosforth’s Fete", Schnitzlers "La Ronde", Whelan's " The Accrington Pals" and Woody Allen's Play It Again Sam in which she also took the part of Vanessa.

Liz is trained in Fine Art and has exhibited locally. She designed the posters for Fallen Angels, and Blue Remembered Hills, Much Ado About Nothing and The Vortex.

Liz is going into business for herself, as a fully qualified Blue Badge tour guide, for which www.kent-and-sussex-tours.co.uk is the website.



Prompt
Louise Gibbins
Louise Gibbins. Actor. Publicity.

Louise Gibbins
Actor: Play It Again Sam; Gosforth’s Fete; The Accrington Pals; La Ronde; Much Ado About Nothing; Bazaar and Rummage; Two; Day After The Fair; Lady Chatterley's Lover.

Louise joined the Players in 2006 & has since been involved in several productions.

The first was Harold Pinter’s ‘The Birthday Party’ where she was the official teapot bearer between Acts II & III. Following the success of teapot placement, she was cast as Councillor Mrs Pearce in Alan Ayckborne’s ‘Gosforth’s Fete’. Louise proved herself to be a massive hit when Charlie Jubber (Gosforth) omitted to catch her as she fell off the podium backwards.

In Schnitzler's ‘La Ronde’, she played a prostitute which was lucky as Louise was concerned about being typecast! Louise also appeared in the production, "The Accrington Pals" by Peter Whelan. Here, she played Sarah, a hardworking but fun loving mother in her late twenties.

Louise is seeking film extra work, her public profiles on casting websites can be found HERE and HERE.



Costumes
Susanna Gerken
Susanna Gerken

Susanna Gerken
Costumes.
Assistant Director / Stage Manager: The Importance of Being Earnest

Susanna first trained as a teacher and then studied languages and drama in Italy. She lived abroad for many years and has performed in different amateur groups.

Since coming to live in Canterbury she has joined the Players and designed the costumes for "The Birthday Party"; La Ronde"; "Play It Again Sam" and "Fallen Angels".

Susanna is a very welcome addition to the Players.


 

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