Fallen Angels, Norwich

CHRISTOPHER SMITH Noel Coward, well, perhaps more style than substance. But in this Maddermarket production of the 1923 comedy, the style is so splendid no one could complain.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

Noel Coward, well, perhaps more style than substance. But in this Maddermarket production of the 1923 comedy, the style is so splendid no one could complain.

Anne White provides a drawing that captures the spirit of the age. Michael Bloom clothes the cast to convey character with precision.

Plus-fours and Fair Isle slipovers for men and cloche hats and glittering evening gowns for golf widows sketch the pattern of relationships.

Married for a few years, the bright young things yearn for adventure.

A fazed husband may sigh for Victorian stability and call the women “psychoanalytic neurotics” – they're not that, but as the cocktails do their work, emotions fray. With shrugs and glances, Joy Davidson as the disapproving maid emphasises our responses.

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Zanna Foley-Davies and Jo Gill begin as the best of friends. It's plain where that will lead. Trevor Burton keeps a curmudgeonly face twisted as an outraged husband, and Christian de l'Argy is his partner in distress.

“It's damned funny, you know!” he cries at the end. He is right.

The only trouble is that at moments the actors persuade us to take things too seriously. A bit more ironic detachment would add dramatic style. Christopher Smith