Fallen Angels

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy by Noël Coward, first performed in 1925at the Globe Theatre, London, when it became one of four Coward playsrunning simultaneously in the West End (the others being Hay Fever,On With the Dance, and The Vortex). Fallen Angels,which starred Tallulah Bankhead, created a sensation with its storyabout two married women visited by their ex-lover. The last night'sperformance was attended by a crusader for public morality, Mrs CharlesHornibrook, who stood up in her box at the end of the second act andannounced: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to protest. This playshould not go unchallenged." The audience hooted, the orchestrastruck up with 'I Want To Be Happy', and Mrs Hornibrook was gentlyejected from the theater.

    When it was revived in 1949 in Plymouth with Hermione Gingoldand Hermione Baddeley, Coward was in the audience and recorded, "Ihave never yet in my long experience seen a more vulgar, silly, unfunny,disgraceful performance." When it proved to be a hit, he wrote,"Fallen Angels a terrific success. Livid."

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