(Please read with a British accent)
"The press notices for Fallen Angels were vituperative to the point of incoherence. No epithet was spared. It was described as vulgar, disgusting, shocking, nauseating, vile, obscene, degenerate, etc., etc. The idea of two gently nurtured young women playing a drinking scene together was apparently too degrading a spectacle for even the most hardened and worldly critics. The Daily Express even went so far as to allude to these two wayward creatures as 'suburban sluts.' All this was very good for the box office..."
Although not in Coward's autobiography, John Lahr gives us his response:
"The realization that I am hopelessly depraved, vicious and decadent has for two days ruined my morning beaker of opium, I find I no longer enjoy my four o'clock cocaine tablets, and I have flung my hypodermic needle into the Thames with the firm resolution of turning over a new leaf and for the future I intend to write only the healthiest of healthy plays, dealing exclusively with birth, marriage and death in the open air."
We are all delighted he did nothing of the kind!
I recall some wonderful stories about this play and one of it's stars - the inimitable Tallulah Bankhead. I will check it out and let you know
Sydnie Grosberg Ronga
Director, GRT's Fallen Angels