NOEL Coward wrote Blithe Spirit in five days and never changed a word of it, which is good because it still holds a fascination and surprise for a modern audience.
The plot surrounds twicemarried Charles Condomine who invites local Medium, Madam Arcati to hold a Séance to provide research for his latest book.
The results are more dramatic than they first appear and provide complications when the first wife returns, to upset the status quo.
Her interference in his organised life causes mayhem and Madame Arcati’s efforts to return her to the other side only increase the problems, leading to two ex-wives haunting him.
Eventually she twigs the problem (t’was the Butler what done it, well the maid actually) and all spirits are returned to their rightful place.
A lovely period set and costumes, complemented by good characterisation all round, with firm direction from Jillian Rowe, produced a good evening’s entertainment.
The show is stolen by the outstanding performance of Mary Winning as Madam Arcati, well supported by the entire cast.
All-round good value for the modest price of the ticket in a very welcoming arts centre.
BY TERRY WOOD