Fallen Angels, 1976



The play is set in the London flat of Frederick and Julia Sterroll in 1925.

Act 1

Two youngish men, Frederick Sterroll and William Banbury, go off on a golfing trip, leaving their wives to amuse themselves as best they can. The wives have each received a postcard from Maurice Duclos, whose lovers they had both been before their marriages. He tells them he is due in London and hopes to call on them imminently. Unsure whether they will be able to resist Maurice’s powerful charm, they decide to leave before he arrives, but as they are about to go, suitcases in hand, the doorbell rings.

Act 2

The ring at the door had not been Maurice (it was the plumber), and the two women have decided to brave the forthcoming encounter. While waiting, quite nervously, for Maurice’s arrival, they drink too many cocktails and too much champagne. Their old rivalry for Maurice’s affections surfaces, they begin to bicker, and a tremendous quarrel ensues. By the end of the act Maurice has still not appeared and Julia has ordered Jane out of the flat.

Act 3

The next morning Julia wrongly imagines Jane has gone off with Maurice. In fury Julia tells William about his wife’s supposed liaison. Jane, meanwhile, having spent the night innocently alone at an hotel, concludes that Julia and Maurice have gone off together, and she tells Frederick about her suspicions. Maurice finally arrives, and (almost) reassures the husbands that nobody has gone off with anybody, and there is nothing to worry about. He has taken the flat above the Sterrolls, and invites both couples to come and see it. The men decline, and Maurice escorts Julia and Jane to his flat. Presently the voices of all three are heard singing a sentimental love song; the husbands exchange panicked glances and rush upstairs.


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