“Your best yet” and “very professional” were just two of the audience’s responses to the Actors Community Theatre Society (ACTS) production of Noel Coward’s “Blithe Spirit”, directed by Ian Vallender
Performed at the Casa de Cultura in Benijofar, Blithe Spirit tells the story of what happens when author Charles Condomine turns to a local medium in order to learn some trick of the trade for a book he is planning about a homicidal medium.
Played with suave sophistication by Tony Goddard, Charles and his wife Ruth (Dianne Scott) invite Dr and Mrs Bradman to dinner along with Madame Arcati, a professional medium and author. The Condomines and the Bradmans are all skeptical of her powers, although the nervous and twittery Mrs Bradman (Sue Stabler, who also made most of the costumes) hopes she can tell the future.
When the eccentric Madame Arcati, who has a penchant for cucumber sandwiches, conjures up the ghost of Charles’s first wife Elvira, all of them are shocked.
Elvira (Robina Smith) floats around the stage, upsetting the household in her attempt to get Charles to herself on the “other side”, causing Edith the maid, played by Debbie Locke to fall down the stairs and crack her head open.
Driven to fury Ruth takes the car to go to Madame Arcati to make her get rid of her rival, but Elvira has tampered with it and Ruth is killed in an accident and she too comes back to haunt Charles.
Madame Arcati, played with hilarious eccentricity by Eileen Hamilton, now realises that she needs the help of the maid who has been continuously lurking the background, in order to send the two ghosts back. Eventually Ruth and Elvira disappear, but do not leave, and as Charles “packs his traps” for foreign fields, they proceed to destroy the house.
The blue and cream set, reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style, was constructed by Walter Hamilton, painted by a team led by Mary Ann Dunning, who along with the Stage Manager Michelle Edwards and her husband John furnished it.
Lighting and sound effects were the under the control of Tony Smith and Alan Dunning with the invaluable support of Roger Scott.
If you missed this stunning show, be sure not to miss the Autumn production, a farce called Key for Two. It is sure to meet the high standards set by this company. If you are interested in becoming a member of ACTS contact Tony or Angie Goddard at firstname.lastname@example.org For any other information about the group you can find them on Facebook at A.C.T.S. Actor Community Theatre Society