Blithe Spirit

Date 29th April 2022
Society Harleston Players
Venue The Fisher Theatre
Type of Production Play
Director Lucy Hammond
Producer Helen Farrar
Written By Noel Coward

Report

Author: Sarah Meers

Blithe Spirit, a light comedy in three acts, was written in 6 days in World War 2 1941 in a seaside environment, Portmeirian, Wales. Noel Coward longed to write a play featuring ghosts and he knew in his heart the success it would bring and how much the audience would love it. Harleston Players achieved both of these with the success and the love in their excellent production. The plot unfolds with a man, a medium and 2 dead wives as ghosts haunting him, in desperation he leaves thinking the wives had gone too, but have they? There were no ghosts in the busy foyer when I arrived, or at least I don't think so, just an excited audience waiting with anticipation for Blithe Spirit to commence, and they weren't disappointed.

Charles Condomine (Steve Barrett) was confused and cynical in his approach to the character, while his 2 wives Elvira (Sara Curtis) the deceased wife had the naughty carefree spirit required and Ruth Condomime (Meryl Keeble) the second wife was sophisticated, sensible and predictable, quite the reverse in personalities. Charles' good friends Doctor Bradman (Barry Givens) and his wife Violet (Mary Frendo) were village people. Doctor Bradman portrayed the loyal but sceptical friend, and Violet, the sweet naive wife, were both played well. Madame Arcati (Cherryl Jeffries) was an eccentric spiritualist, a boisterous and enthusiastic medium. Edith (Josie Fuller) had great comic timing and Tilly (Janet Blair) was a typical maid. I loved that they were both nervous and worried about what they were doing.

Every single member of this outstanding cast of people played their part to perfection. There were great characterisations throughout and all the emotions were embraced to make this production the very best quality of entertainment. The costumes were typically 1940's with apt accessories and even the jewelry shone through. The house setting in the lounge was in keeping with the time and the details when using props such as the love letter and holding a glass was superb.

The finale of the play Blithe Spirit with its ghostly chilling atmosphere was cleverly portrayed by the use of moving furniture and props. I liked that because it left doubts. 

Congratulations to Harleston Players for an amazing and brilliant evening's entertainment.