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Blithe Spirit

by Noël Coward
Directed by Joanna Weir Ouston, from Oxford School of Drama, UK

July 2018

Written during the London Blitz of 1941, Blithe Spirit has remained popular for over seven decades, has been nominated for eight Tony awards, and warmed the hearts of wartime theatergoers.  Coward’s wit remains timeless in this comedy. As The Guardian says, Blithe Spirit is a “…outlandish comic fantasy…” 

Blithe Spirit is about the socialite and novelist, Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for the novel he is working on. The scheme goes awry when his first wife comes back to haunt him in the form of a ghost, attempting to disrupt his second marriage and unnerve his current wife, Ruth, who is unable to hear or see the ghost. This comic play, written in less than one week, hit the stage with immediate popularity and remains popular today.

About the Playwright:
Noël Coward was an Academy Award-winning English actor, prolific playwright, composer of popular music, director and singer, and a writer of poetry and short stories known for their wit and flamboyance—what Time magazine called “a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise.

By the time of his death, the Times newspaper was writing of him: None of the great figures of the English theatre has been more versatile than he, and the paper ranked his plays in the classical tradition of Congreve, Sheridan, Wilde, and Shaw.