Fallen Angels - Sewell Barn Company

Sewell Barn, Norwich

Sewell Barn, Norwich

“Several drinks never did anyone any harm. It's only the first one!”

An early Noel Coward, this play is clearly a forerunner of his greater work to come.

It is light, spicy, witty and dramatically theatrical.

In the Sewell Barn Company hands, ably directed by David Hare, it is a comic gem.

Julie, mistress of the house, is the central character and Ginny Porteous is playing her quite splendidly, covering sickness at very short notice.

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Her best friend Jane (Gill Cichbourne) is consistently delightful and her getting tipsy is priceless.

Saunders, the know-all housemaid (Jill Fuller) carries off the doing and knowing everything with panache.

The flimsy but mannered plot works through well-drawn characters firmly anchored in the 1920s.

Costumes are perfect. Drawing-room details are spot on and the eating of dinner is divine, with the oysters slipping down a treat.

The line-up is completed by Christopher Whitley and Paul Spencer as the hapless husbands. Colin Devine is the dapper French lover the wives shared before marriage.

As events unfold we see farce, melodrama and some good one-liners.

The whole evening is an absolute delight with the rafters of the old barn rattling to warm laughter.

Ideal tonic on a cheerless night.

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