Friday, July 24, 2015

West End Spirit comes to Northbridge Theatre


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Date:                       18th July to 9th August 2015
Time:                        Various
Location:                 Heath Ledger Theatre, Northbridge   
Bookings:             Ticketek Ph 1300 795 012
                                 In person at venue box office or Ticketek agencies

My thoughts
Photograph by Gary Marsh Photography 
      I grew up from a pre-school age going to the theatre with my father, who was passionate about books, theatre and ballet. Even if I was too young to understand the play, I still loved the experience. Something about good theatre just gets under your skin. It’s electric. This love continued into adulthood, and was only put on pause thanks to children. Recently, though, I’ve become a theatregoer again. So every now and then, you’re going to hear about the latest theatrical production here in Perth. I keep the same rules for theatre reviewing as book reviewing. If I don’t like it, I won’t review. However, if I do review, it means I have loved the experience, and I highly recommend you get along and see the production.

  Blithe Spirit comes with my highest endorsement. Written by the prolific genius Noel Coward during World War II, the production ran for 1,997 performances, outlasting the War (a West End record until The Mousetrap overtook it).
  Black Swan State Theatre Company has recreated the 1940’s brilliantly, complete with perfect English accents and an authentic country house. The play is witty, amusing, and visually stunning. The company had the misfortune of having one of their leads replaced due to illness only days before opening. Veteran thespian Alison van Reeken was brought in to take over. She did an extraordinary job to manage a wordy and physical role with minimal preparation. You may find if you are attending the early productions she is using a script prompt. However, this doesn’t detract greatly, except to have you marvelling at the wonderful job she does. The show must go on, and it certainly does.
Photograph: Gary Marsh Photography
   Charles Condomine is a novelist married for the second time to the assertive, opinionated and a touch acerbic Ruth (Adriane Daff). When Charles invites medium Madame Arcati (Alison Van Reeken) to conduct a séance as research for his latest book, Charles’ dead wife Elvira (Jo Morris) comes back in spirit form and attempts to rekindle their love, despite the obvious difficulties. Only poor Charles can see her, which causes enormous complications in his relationship with Ruth. It’s also an amusing insight into English lifestyle in Kent in mid-twentieth centry, with the maid Edith (Ella Hetherington) playing a humorous and key role in the story.
Photograph: Gary Marsh Photography
  Brava to the lighting designer Jon Buswell and costume and set designer Bryan Woltjen. The ghost of Elvira looked every bit ethereal as if on film. In fact, she was quite spellbinding. The costumes and set were as good as anything you will see in London’s West End or New York’s Broadway. I’ve seen many a small and big production in those places before children. The performances were energetic, perfectly played, and a delight to watch. Adriane Daff as second wife Ruth was so spectacular as she delivered a monologue during a scene, as she left the stage the audience applauded her.
   Blithe Spirit is a quality production of an intelligent, witty, and humorous play. If you don’t book tickets you might in fact find yourself haunted at missing out on a very special experience.

Theatre Blurb
While researching his next novel, Charles Condomine employs the services of a clairvoyant to see whether it is possible to contact souls in the afterlife. Unfortunately for Charles, the psychic summons the ghost of his dead wife, Elvira. It’s soon clear that the morally untidy Elvira wishes to reunite with her husband, much to the dismay of Charles’ new (and living) wife, Ruth.

Bookings:  Ticketek Ph 1300 795 012 in person at venue box office or Ticketek agencies/ or at     More Information click here

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