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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit - Noël Coward

bookshelves: play-dramatisation, amusing

Read in December, 2008


Noel Coward's classic comedy, adapted for radio by Bert Coules. When writer Charles Condomine invites a medium to hold a seance at his country house, he anticipates little more than some harmless fakery and a lot of good material for his new novel. Instead, he gets a ghostly visitation from his dead first wife, rather to the chagrin of his very much alive second one.

From The RAdio Times

Knock, knock. Is there anybody there? Noel Coward took exactly five days during the darkest year of the Second World War to write this spirited comedy about ghosties and spiritualism, marriage and death. It broke all theatre box-office records and was made into an unforgettable film in which the glorious Margaret Rutherford dominated the screen so entirely that Rex Harrison had to crowbar himself into the little space she left him. Here, Maggie Steed takes the Rutherford role as Madame Arcati, the jolly hockey-sticks, Ovaltinedrinking, bead-laden medium on whom Charles Condomine calls to hold a seance for research for his new book. When she conjures up the spirit of his dead first wife, much to the chagrin of the present incumbent, the action is set to roll. Very British, very "chin-chin", very misogynistic and still gorgeously witty. With Natalie Cassidy as the humble maid on whom the plot turns.

-- Frances Lass


Charles ........................................ Roger Allam
Madame Arcati ................................. Maggie Steed
Elvira .......................................... Zoe Waites
Ruth .................................... Hermione Gulliford
Dr Bradman ................................... David Killick
Mrs Bradman ................................. Tilly Tremayne
Edith ...................................... Natalie Cassidy

Director Philip Franks.