EVENING GAZETTE, May 4, 1989
A Fall Of Angels
MA Drama Group
Essex University Theatre, Colchester
Topical premiere has good ideas
AN apt play, some might say, to mark the tenth anniversary of Thatcherism — an almighty swipe at the Government’s NHS cutbacks.
Not that any Prime Minister is specifically named in this premiere of a play by the University’s writer in resi dence, Michele Celeste, produced in conjunction with the Mercury Theatre.
Even after a whole week’s run (it ends this Saturday), A Fall Of Angels still shows signs of the improvisation and co operative writing that the cast and crew put into it - but despite a few ragged patches, there are plenty of good ideas and some committed acting.
Catharine Arakelian’s pro duction is played out within an imaginative set designed by Michael Taylor.
Simon Kelly, a little less confident than usual, plays Julian Strachan, the Unit Manager, brought in as hatchet man to close various bits of a struggling hospital for women.
Foremost among the pro testers is one of its consul tant surgeons, Phyllida Douglas, the ex-Mrs Strachan, played powerfully by Marie Bailey-Adams. Only when the life of their beautiful, lively daughter Kim is wrecked by the closures do the squabbling divorcees find some degree of unity.
Helena Morris’s Kim, later transformed convincingly into a near-vegetable, is another pleasing bit of casting, with Suzanne Lynch particularly credible as the sharp little Irish nurse, Geraldine.
Christine Sirr’s smug Miriam, Angeliki Rosi’s fear ful, devout Muslim Veena, Ruth Gates’s bruised Beattie and Nigel Walford’s uncaring Regional Consultant are all meaningful portraits.