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Blithe Spirit

Date

14th June 2019

Society

Hart Players

Venue

Church Crookham Memorial Hall

Type of Production

Play

Director

Jackie Kennedy

Producer

Margaret Wales

Report

Author: Chris Horton

Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward is a classic play dealing with the supernatural in fun way.  It tells the story of how pompous writer, Charles Condomine reacts when, after the spirit of his former wife appears having been called back by psychic Madam Arcati. Condomine orchestrates the evening as research for his latest book. The story unfolds as he tries to deal with having two wives – one only he can see. It’s a beautifully constructed play full of comic characters and provides many laughs which arise out of the ridiculous situation.  

The set was excellent and had been well crafted faithfully recreating an art-deco drawing room in Charles and Ruth Condomine’s home. There was great attention to detail with the décor and furnishings such as photos, light fittings etc which were exquisite. Other great props: the martini glasses and all Madam Arcati’s paraphernalia.

A great deal of trouble had gone into ensuring each character was appropriately dressed for the period. Ruth’s matching Life and Death outfits were worth a mention. 

The lighting was effective and well controlled.  Sound was good with well timed phone calls and “Always”. The trickery at the end was well executed with books toppling and pictures coming adrift. 

The essential characterisations of each cast member were good and they all maintained their persona throughout. Pam Howard provided much of the humour as the eccentric medium Madam Arcati (the most interesting character) and is to be congratulated for taking the role on at short notice. She added a charge of energy when she appeared. But this was an ensemble production by a cast whose joy at being a part of this classic comedy was evident. Under the directorship of Jackie Kennedy this was an evening of suspense, laughs, mischief, twists and turns.