Fallen Angels

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DOI: 10.5040/9781408163047.00000016
Acts: 3. Roles: Male (3) , Female (3) , Neutral (0)

Fallen Angels is a biting, hilarious comedy about the rivalry between two bored married women as they await the arrival of their exotic former lover. Dramatising female sexual desire and frustration, the play’s first performances in 1925 outraged the critics, who proclaimed it to be shocking and obscene.

As Jane and Julia’s lacklustre husbands set off for a golfing weekend, a postcard arrives announcing the imminent visit of the dashing Maurice. This sets in play an evening of drunkenness and fevered anticipation, as Jane and Julia wait for dinner with their guest, and former lover. Host to hilarious interchanges and brilliant slapstick, the scenes also radically question female friendship, rivalry and sexual behaviour. What will happen when Maurice arrives? Can Jane and Julia’s relationship actually be maintained, as they claim?

Rather than insulting British womanhood (as its scandalised opponents asserted) Coward’s sharp, entertaining script incisively draws attention to male sexual hypocrisy, while probing the vacuous lives of the play's privileged protagonists.

From Coward Plays: 1

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Bloomsbury Publishing

Noël Coward

ISBN: 9780413460608

Series: World Classics

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