Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, March 14, 2014

Blithe Spirit...

Last night Stuart and I went to see Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre in London's glitzy West End.

When Noel Coward wrote it in 1941 is was the height of sophistication - a comedy of manners concerning an upper class couple milling about in their country house with their skeptical friends who start by engaging a dotty clairvoyant for researching a book but end up communicating all too directly with the dead.

Many am dram productions later (I was a rather limp wristed 'Charles' in the North Herts Youth Theatre production back in the early 1980s) and we see this revival hit the Gielgud starring Angela Lansbury as the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (played by Margaret Rutherford in the film version.)

Lansbury makes for a fine Arcarti dressed in garishly vivid oranges and purples. She stalks the stage... like a tall garish orange and purple stalking thing.

The rest of the cast gamely acts on; Charles Edwards good as Charles, Jemima Rooper very good as Elvira and Janie Dee excellent as Ruth. And the play is amusing. Funny, even, in parts. But it perhaps suffers the fate of all start vehicles. You are constantly aware that it is Angela Lansbury up there on the stage - not least because she gets a round of applause at every entrance and exit!

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