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

Victoria’s Oktoberfest brings out the Bavarian in all of us

Stein and Dine at Victoria Public Market celebrates German food, beverages, culture on Oct. 19

Restaurant Review: Authentic Mexican molé hits the spot

Restaurante la Tortilla Mexicana’s hearty, spicy sauce works well over enchiladas, writes Allan Reid

REVIEW: Mullins’ Weaksauce hits the mark, like a good hockey pass

UVic Fine Arts alumni and frequent CBC writer’s biographical storytelling show here through Oct. 19

Two local authors walk away with Victoria Book Prize

Kathy Page and Aidan Cassie each walked away with a literary award

Inspirational evening celebrating the power of the arts

The Victoria Guitar Society hosts Syrian Encounter – An Evening with Orontes Quartet, Oct. 18

Fashion Fridays: How to pose in photos

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

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra launches new season

First up: Celebrating the Concerto on Oct. 27

Trudeau to appear on Jessi Cruickshank’s Facebook Watch show ‘New Mom, Who Dis?’

Federal Liberal leader to do sit-down interview with Canadian media personality on Wednesday

‘Joker’ laughs its way to October box office record

Warner Bros. said “Joker” grossed an estimated $93.5 million in ticket sales from 4,374 screens in North America

Ginger Baker, Cream’s volatile drummer, dies at 80

Baker wielded blues power and jazz technique to help break open popular music in the 1960s

‘Interesting mixture of emotions’: Scott Moir reflects on final tour with Tessa Virtue

Multiple Olympic ice dance gold medallists skating through B.C. during the Rock the Rink tour

It’s onward and upward for Victoria gelato artisan

After winning Gelato Festival gold, Stefano Mosi will compete at North American finals in 2020

Most Read