AUDIENCES can enjoy an evening of Noel Coward’s sharp and witty dialogue as the Talisman in Kenilworth stages his longest running comedy nthis week.
Blithe Spirit, directed by Mary Macdonald, will be performed at the venue in Barrow Road from tonight (Monday) until Saturday.
The play has a simple premise. Charles Condomine (Martin Eggleston) plans a séance as research for his new book. He invites the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (Christine Carpenter) into his English country home intending to expose the her as a fraud.
To witness this event, Charles and his second wife, Ruth (Chris Ives) invite the sceptical Dr Bradman (John Nichols) and his anxious-to-believe wife, Violet (Linda Blain-Smith).
When, in the course of the seance, Madame Arcati mistakenly summons Charles’ first wife, Elvira (Julie Godfrey), back from the beyond, things get thoroughly out of hand.
The play, which was first seen in London’s West End in 1941, went on to do well on New York’s Broadway and then was turned by Coward into a successful film in 1945 that starred Rex Harrison - who the Talisman say has “links” with the company’s next production, In Praise of Love - and Margaret Rutherford. The drama has also been a musical and adapted for television and radio.
The Talisman’s Christine Carpenter, who reprises the Margaret Rutherford role, describes the play as “Full of Coward’s acerbic observation of a thoroughly vile lot getting their come-uppance”, likens the character portraits as “almost Wildean in their petty, bourgeois badness” and sums it all up as “a joyous fantastical romp.”
Performances each night begin at 7.30pm. For tickets, which cost between £7 and £8.50, call 856548.