The Theatre Royal launches its summer season with the delightful comedy, Blithe Spirit.
Written in 1941 to distract from the horrors of World War 1, we meet the novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth.
They are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife Alvira at a séance, when she appears visible only to Charles, determined to sabotage his current marriage.
The crossover between life and the afterlife become muddled and life becomes complicated.
Directed by Richard Eyre this production it full of charm and class. The excellent cast, headed by the glorious Jennifer Saunders as Madame Arcati is set for a successful run.
Saunders owns the stage with intricate details and mannerisms creating a medium who resembles a robust Guide leader rather than the typical bohemian. It works a treat.
Lisa Dillon (Ruth) and Emma Naomi (Elvira) are great sparring partners as the current and ex-wife of Charles, played by Geoffrey Streatfeild.
Rose Wardlaw as the maid Edith is excellent; at first appearing to be hapless but soon becoming a hugely watchable character.
This is a fine play; designed by Anthony Ward and atmospherically lit by Howard Harrison, the towering library and impressive static set allows for tricks and elements of surprise.
As it is part of the summer season, the opportunities to catch it during the run are many.
Coward’s sparkling wit and dialogue is in extremely safe hands as it fizzes with energy and fun.
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Reviewer: Petra Schofield
Blithe Spirit, by Noël Coward and directed by Richard Eyre, is showing at the Theatre Royal in Bath until Saturday 6th July 2019.
For more information, and tickets, visit the Theatre Royal website.