Malvern Theatres – until 1 February 2020
Reviewed by Vanessa Gibson
When Charles (Geoffrey Streatfield) organises a séance to help him research a new story no one could have foreseen the consequences which would unfold. Madame Arcati (Jennifer Saunders) arrives at Charles beautiful home to lead him and a group of friends through a dramatic séance. Although the friends are sceptics one soon discovers that Madame Arcati does indeed possess psychic powers, when his dead wife, Elvira (Emma Naomi) appears to him and him alone. Once she has appeared beautiful Elvira sets about causing mischief and mayhem.
As you would expect Jennifer Saunders steals the show as the wonderfully eccentric Madame Arcati, creating much laughter as we discover some of her less fragrant personal traits.
An additional highlight of the show is the servant Edith ( Rose Wardlaw). With brilliant comic timing Edith shows that it’s possible to be very funny whilst speaking very little.
Anthony Wards stunning set and costumes truly capture not just the era of the play but also the personalities of the key characters. Whilst clever lighting (Howard Harrison) adds to the atmosphere and at times comic effect.
Although originally performed in 1941 this story stands the test of time and held the audience enthralled throughout. A wonderful production, this performance was a joy to watch, with a very skilled cast weaving a story which has an unexpected twist in the tale. We left the theatre still laughing and debating our own perspectives on each character. Blithe Spirit truly is a must see and we thoroughly recommend it to audiences of any age.