Ghosts and séances and comedy! Oh, my! Yuba college’s production of “Blithe Spirit” brought a light-hearted tone to the subject of death.
Written by Noel Coward and directed by David Wheeler, this play captured the audience’s fascination with the supernatural. Within the play, comedy and serious ideas are presented.
Charles Condomine, played by Mark Dunham, is a writer who invites a wacky medium over to learn the techniques of her supernatural gift. Later, when Madame Arcati, played by Janet Frye-Stottmann, comes to perform her séance, she accidentally calls upon Charles’s dead first wife, Elvira, played by Ada Schmidt.
Charles is shocked by the ghostly appearance of his dead wife, Elvira. She is happy to see
Charles, but her presence interfers with his current marital commitment to Ruth, played by Laurie Luna.
“Blithe Spirit” was written in 1941 and astounded audiences with the notion of making fun of death during WWII.
Productions then were often interrupted by threats of air raids, but, after the danger had passed, the play was resumed.
The script in 1941 incorporated instructions for the actors in case of an air raid. Despite these setbacks, “Blithe Spirit” was the most performed play of the last century.
The entire Yuba College production was long, but worth seeing. It had great characters, finely detailed costumes, and realistic scenery.
The only shortcomings of the production were a few inaudible lines.
Overall, the play had its exciting moments, and some funny ones that garnered laugh-outloud responses from the audience.