Elizabeth Whitmarsh, left, as Madame Arcati, and Kate McCallum Pagett, as Ruth, experience the afterlife in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit, on now at Langham Court Theatre. Courtesy Langham Court Theatre

REVIEW: A large round of applause for Blithe Spirit

Langham Court’s 90th season opener a great ensemble piece featuring diverse talents

Sheila Martindale

Monday Magazine contributor

I have loved Noel Coward and Blithe Spirit ever since I first saw the play when I was 15. I have since seen it at such prestigious venues as the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, but I can honestly say I have not seen such fine performances as I did at Langham Court Theatre this week.

ALSO READ: Iconic Langham Court keeps community involved in theatre

Before I even mention the actors, I must send up a cheer for Wendy Henderson’s brilliant costume designs, particularly in the case of the ghosts, and to Tess Wiens for the wonderful ‘poltergeist’ effects.

Elizabeth Whitmarsh is an absolutely marvelous Madame Arcati. OK, so we know all the eccentricities are largely tongue-in-cheek, but you’d swear this was her natural personality. And the maid, Edith, is a delightful cameo role, beautifully played by Corinna Gilliland. Malcolm Harvey is smooth and urbane as Doctor Bradman, ably supported by Jo Barnes as his wife.

The main characters Charles and Ruth, played by Alan Penty and Kate McCallum Pagett, as sane people in an insane situation, are priceless. Their hilarious three-cornered conversations with the spirit Elvira are unparalleled. And Elvira herself, a captivating spirit played by Jackie Rioux, materializes from a portrait on the wall and charms us even though we know she is a spoiled brat.

The set (created by director Toshik Bukowiecki in a remarkable dual role, with set décor by Drew Waveryn) was given an enthusiastic round of applause as soon as the curtains opened – well deserved.

Congratulations go out to Bukowiecki for pulling a bunch of diverse people together in this delightfully sophisticated production.

Blithe Spirit runs until Oct. 13. Don’t miss it! Call 250-384-2142 to reserve tickets, email boxoffice@langhamtheatre.ca or drop by the theatre box office.

Just Posted

REVIEW: Be prepared to participate in the Belfry’s Every Brilliant Thing

Not your typical Christmas season show, but remarkable nonetheless, writes Sheila Martindale

Holiday concerts: soloists, choruses and orchestras do Christmas

Various concerts on tap for December, including multiple Messiahs

CCPA actors fall down a Shakespearian rabbit hole

Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) makes for chaotic theatre fun

You’re part of the show in Belfry’s newest production

Every Brilliant Thing uses a recreated, more intimate theatre space for this holiday offering

Daniel Lapp: Keeping it Canadian over the holidays

Local, regional music stars on tap for Home for Christmas concerts, Dec. 20-21 at Alix Goolden Hall

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Carolling in Cadboro Bay Village helps fund music at Mount Doug Secondary

Singing set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 1, in Cadboro Bay Village.

VIDEO: Celine Dion tops Billboard 200 for first time in over 17 years

‘Courage’ is Dion’s fifth album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200

Sooke Community Choir brings warmth to winter

This Shining Night concert features a variety of seasonal music

Most Read