Blithe Spirit at Louth Riverhead Theatre

Praise for Playgoers in Coward classic
Praise for Playgoers in Coward classic

Review by Jamie Harris

This production is a true testament to all involved.

After the unexpected passing of one of the show’s leading actors, the team has rallied together to devise a piece of theatre that I have no doubt will be viewed as one of the finest of this season.

The lighting is reflective of the time, even down to working lamps and chandeliers.

The sound succeeds in not only creating a realistic sound scape of a 1940s country home but further aids in establishing the paranormal moments before and after they occur.

The costumes fit the period well, with particular praise going to the costume for Mrs Condomine the 1st. Very spooky!

The set has been wonderfully designed by Terri Slaven, not only being used as a fitting back drop for the Condomine’s living room, but as a tool to create many of the eerie set pieces seen throughout the performance (look out for a memorable minute with a picture frame and also the very sinister climax to the play).

Under the watchful and detailed eye of director Jeremy Smith - also playing the role of Charles Condomine at late notice - the cast not only manage to convey the ghostly goings on with intensity and fear, but they also master the undertones of the comedy in the text, often having the audience unable to hold back the laughter.

All the actors play their characters incredibly well, each one embodying the role they have taken on.

Special mention must go to Anna Maria Vesey, whose portrayal of the frenzied and rushed-off-her-feet maid Edith, made me chuckle on several occasions.

Elizabeth Gardner-Clark, as the ghoulish Elvira, floated around the stage in a mischievous and comedic fashion, entrancing the audience at every step.

And the utterly scene stealing Linda Goodman-Powell’s performance as Madame Arcarti was truly outstanding, moving from the melodramatic to the sheer flamboyant. Her trance like states were especially entertaining.

I urge you not to miss this theatrical treat, which could prove to be a highlight of this year’s theatrical calendar.

Louth playgoers are dedicating this production of Blithe Spirit to Andrew Attridge.

The show runs until Saturday, October 12; performance time 7.30pm.

Tickets cost £7.50: Juniors (under 18) £5 from the box office on 01507 600350.