A smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stages, this much-revived classic offers a cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married but haunted by the ghost of his late first wife, who is called up by a visiting “happy medium.”
With wonderful staging, a script with twists and turns and 1940’s costuming and set, Blithe Spirit is a deliciously ghostly and funny piece of theatre!
September 26 – October 6, 2019
8:00 PM – Sep 26, 27, 28; Oct 4, 5
2:00 PM – Sep 29; Oct 5, 6
General Admission: $25
Dinner & Show Package: $65
213 Second St.
905-372-2210 | 1-855-372-2210
Dinner & A Show!
New this year, enjoy a delicious prix fixe menu at Cucina Urbana before taking in a great Northumberland Players show!
For $65, you get a tasty dinner with gratuities and taxes included (drinks extra), followed by the show at the Firehall theatre.
To purchase, simply choose the "Dinner & Show" option when you buy your ticket, call Cucina Urbana at (905) 377-9100 to make your reservations for the night of the performance, and show your ticket at dinner.
About The Show
Blithe Spirit is a comic play by Noël Coward. The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book.
The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles's marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.
The play was first seen in the West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays of 1,997 performances. It also did well on Broadway later that year, running for 657 performances.
Coward adapted the play for film in 1945, starring Rex Harrison, and directed a musical adaptation, High Spirits, on Broadway in 1964. It was also adapted for television in the 1950s and 1960s and for radio.
The play enjoyed several West End and Broadway revivals in the 1970s and 1980s and was revived again in London in 2004, 2011 and 2014. It returned to Broadway in February 2009.
Would You Buy the Haunted Blithe Spirit Mansion?September 24, 2019
On Playing Madame Arcati: Heather StubbsSeptember 19, 2019
Madame Arcati: Colourful and Eccentric with a Storied HistorySeptember 16, 2019
Noël Coward’s “Improbable Farce”September 11, 2019
Cast & Creative Team
Rob Davidson, play reviewer
That's the Blithe Spirit!
The dictionary definition of blithe is “a casual or cheerful indifference.”
When Noel Coward wrote his farce Blithe Spirit in 1941, he was reflecting on a pre-Second World War population whose callousness arguably led to the greatest conflagration of the 20th century.
Solidly directed by Paula Worley, the production currently on view at the Firehall Theatre is earnestly trying to re-create the brittle and fragile society of pre-war Britain and give the audience a few laughs at the same time.
The play opens with Ruth (played by Emily Graham) and Charles Condomine (played by Dave Clark), bored upper-middle class socialites organizing a seance as part of the research for Charles’ next book. Graham’s Ruth is grumpy, bitchy and bored, obsessing over her husband Charles’ deceased first wife Elvira. Her thought were, “Was she more physically attractive than I am?”
The seance is being conducted by the eccentric Madame Arcati, played lovingly, with dotty enthusiasm, by Heather Stubbs. Although Arcati is clearly a charlatan, the Condomines and their dinner guests, the local doctor and his wife (Garret Lee and Francine Belanger) treat her with amused condescension until the party breaks up with everyone vaguely disappointed with the lack of apparitions. Well, everyone except Charles, as he is horrified to discover Arcati has indeed summoned the spirit of his first wife, played by Catherine Martin, with an abundance of that aforementioned indifference.
Since Charles is the only person who can see and hear Elvira, the very blithe spirit, complications ensue, and by the end of the play, Arcati has been asked, once again, to exorcise the spirit, only to discover the true medium is the Condomines' harried and terrified maid Edith, played by Laura Bassett.
The small Firehall Theatre has been turned into a very British parlour crammed with gewgaws and various decanters of booze — and full marks must go to the set and backstage crew for creating the little theatrical tricks to convince us a spirit is in the house.
That’s right, viewers, doors open on their own, and books fly off shelves, etc.
Finally, a tip of the hat to Dave Clark, who kindly stepped in at the very last minute to play the part of Charles, when the original actor was unable to continue in the role.
The show must go on, even with a script firmly in hand.
The casting was excellent. All roles were believable! Kudos to the actor who read his lines, done so fluidly!
The set was effectively designed and worked well with the staging of characters' movements. Costumes were well chosen. Lighting changed the atmosphere from ordinary life to otherworldly. Management of the sound gave the audience clear speech and appropriate other noises.
I shall encourage everyone I encounter to see this play!
We thoroughly enjoyed the play and were most impressed by the replacement lead actor who had to read the script while also acting the part!
Our guests loved the Firehall; and the stage setting. Also pretty impressed with the English accents - good enough that they wondered whether the actors were actually English or not!
The FIrehall Theatre
The Firehall Theatre is located behind Victoria Hall in downtown Cobourg. Seating is general admission.
213 Second St.
Parking is available across Second St. in public lots – please note that this parking is only valid for two hours.
Street parking is available around the theatre.
Cobourg Transit stops less than a block away: Route 1 at :10 and :45, and Route 2 at :15 and :42. For more information, see cobourg.ca.