Can’t decide if you prefer a comedy or a ghost story? Rivercity Players is serving up both in their upcoming production of the classic Blithe Spirit.
This play was written by well known British playwright, Noël Coward, and centres around novelist Charles Condomine (played by Tim Myerscough). Charles has invited the eccentric medium Madam Arcati (Dianne Nelson) to his house to lead a séance, as part of the research he is doing for his upcoming book. The plan backfires when the ghost of his first wife, Elvira (Michelle Segal), is accidentally summoned to the house where she takes up residence. She does everything she can to destroy Charles’ marriage to his second wife, Ruth (Kelly McDonald), who can neither hear nor see the ghost.
The cast is rounded out by the Condomine’s friends, Dr. and Mrs. Bradman (Douglas Craig and Kathy Cullen) and their quirky maid (Doris Wagner).
This play was originally produced in London in 1941, establishing a long-run record for non-musical plays. It continues to be produced around the world, and over the years has been adapted for film, musical theatre, television and radio. It has seen numerous revivals, as recently as 2009 on Broadway and 2014 in London.
Of the 2009 revival, the New York Times said “Can still keep an audience in a state of tickled contentment” and TheatreMania said “A world-class comedy”.
Director Alistair Taylor describes the play as “a good bit of classic theatre from a brilliant playwright. It’s a fun story told in clever and witty dialogue – audiences will have a great time with it.”
Taylor is looking forward to tackling the challenges of the play – the technical requirements to depict the actions of the ghost, and creating the atmosphere of a certain time and place – in this case, England in the 1940s.
“I am enjoying seeing the actors bring the script to life in their own voice and style,” he said.
Blithe Spirit is playing at the Rivercity Stage, 1080 Hemlock St., March 6-9 and March 13-16 at 7:30 p.m. and March 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20, and available at Impressions Gallery, Music Plant and tickets.tidemarktheatre.com. Blithe Spirit is suitable for all ages.