Medium's reading goes wild on stage
BLITHE Spirit, a witty and intriguing comedy by Noel Coward, is coming soon to the Ballina Players Theatre.
It explores how writer Charles Condamine (Peter Harding) reacts to a very unusual situation. His problem is that he suddenly has two wives, each of whom naturally resents the other.
A complication is the fact that one is very much alive, but the other has been dead for seven years.
To a large degree Charles creates this difficult situation for himself.
He organises a sEance to observe and learn the tricks of local psychic Madame Arcati (Joan Dalgleish) for his next book.
Charles' scepticism is shaken by the events of the séance. As the table bumps he hears a familiar voice, unheard by anyone else.
It is his late wife Elvira (Gale Bishop), who died in that room. To his horror, she later reveals herself to him alone as a ghostly apparition.
The women come to envy one another. Despite being in the same room, Charles' second wife Ruth can't see or hear mischievous Elvira and is unnerved by his seemingly meaningless conversation with this invisible creature.
There is humour in the situation as Charles talks with Elvira and Ruth thinks she is the one being addressed.
Doubting Charles' sanity, she does not at first believe Elvira has materialised though it is later demonstrated. Ruth recommends calling their medic, Doctor Bradman, or seeking medical help from a psychoanalyst. She blames excess alcohol or indigestion and even recommends Alka-Seltzer.
On reappearing, Elvira shocks Charles who asks her to demonstrate her existence to Ruth. Elvira launches a campaign of moving objects around the room threateningly.
Ruth tries to escape and the attack climaxes with a vase being smashed on the floor. Ruth screams hysterically.
Elvira's witty and biting comments continue, heard only by Charles and the audience.
This blithe spirit will not easily be ignored.
Written by Noel Coward and directed by Fran Legge, Blithe Spirit will be staged at the Players Theatre from March 24 to April 1.
Thursday to Saturday evenings 8pm, Sunday matinees 2pm. Saturday April 1 matinee 2pm.
Book on line at www.ballinaplayers.com or at Just Funkin Music , 66862 440 (a booking fee applies) .