Reviewed by Sue Ellis of the Eckington Leader
The City Players have an unerring knack of choosing just the right plays to perform and in Noel Coward’s 1940’s Blithe Spirit they opted for one which displayed their talents in abundance.
Set in the country home, a wonderfully detailed set full of small but pertinent period features, of successful novelist Charles Condomine (Matthew Joynes) and his second wife, Ruth, (an excellent performance by Lara Huddless in her first role with the group) the action revolves around Charles’ desire to obtain information for his latest novel from Madame Arcati (a wonderfully engaging performance from Anne Wing as the eccentric medium).
Invited to the séance are Dr and Mrs Bradman (Ron Woodward and Carole Wilkinson) and the action takes place after dinner when Madame Acati accidentally summons the materialisation of the mischievous Elvira (Amanda Whelan looking pale and extremely ghostly), Charles’ first wife who died young who only he can see and hear creating discord between Ruth and Charles.
Elvira makes increasingly desperate efforts to disrupt Charles’ current marriage and when she sabotages his car in the hope of killing him so that they can be together in the spirit world it is Ruth rather than Charles who is killed.
But when Charles once again summons Madame Acati to exorcise Elvira mayhem ensues – as she unintentionally brings both wives together.
The fun in this production is very much in the word-play between the characters and the actions of the unseen visitors – the disbelief of some and the delight of others in the on-going attempts to rid the house of its now unwelcome guests with the passage of time being indicated by costume changes.
Madame Acati realises that there is someone else in the house that may be physic and so it is Edith, the maid (Linda Munton) who unknowingly comes to the rescue.
Ellis, Susan. "Blythe Spirit". Eckington Leader, Feb 2013. Print.