Steve Stott and his cast bring together an impressive production of this favourite by Noel Coward
The smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages, this much-revived classic from the playwright of Private Lives offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who is called up by a visiting “happy medium,” one Madame Arcati. As the (worldly and un-) personalities clash, Charles’ current wife, Ruth, is accidentally killed, “passes over,” joins Elvira, and the two “blithe spirits” haunt the hapless Charles into perpetuity.
Edith - Pip Stacey
Ruth Condomine - Catherine Everitt
Charles Condomine - Dave Bowden
Violet Bradman - Tracy Perkins
Dr George Bradman - Peter Rose
Madame Arcati - Kath Gill
Elvira - Phillipa Lee
Voice of Daphne - Daisy Stott
Bucks Free Press Review (by J.M-H)
The overall effect of Steve Stott's production of Blithe Spirit was most enjoyable.
The cast made this classic but difficult play flow well.
Madame Arcati was credibly and effectively handled by Kath Gill with powerful performance befitting a stalwart of the company.
Charles Condomime was characterized by Dave Bowden without the aid of a single cravat, smoking jacket or cigarette holder. He handled long speeches most competently. His comedy timing was good and no laughs were lost but the part could have been better for a Cowardesque clipped Knightsbridge accent, well within Dave's ability. If the play lacked anything it was the brush of "Coward" characterisation - presumably a directorial decision.
Catherine Everitt's commanding interpretation of the ascerbic and annoyingly competent Ruth was excellent.
Phillipa Lee's Elvira was pregnant with ethereal mischief; both she and the rest of the cast handled her selective invisibility well, with good comic effect. The rest of the cast supported well. The other comedy role was played by Pip Stacey who bought great enthusiasm to Edith, the maid. Although she held the stage well with her bird-like bobbing . "less is more" may have been a useful directorial suggestion.
Peter Rose and Tracy Perkins gave the good doctor and his irritating wife appropriate stage presence.
The set was imaginative and clever and facilitated "bits of business" throughout.
Lighting and sound were of the usual high standard one has come to expect from the Players and the special effects at the end of the play were the icing on a very satisfying cake.
Lane End Village Hall
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