WHAT’S ON: Grantham Dramatic Society’s next production is a comedy classic

Blithe Spirit
Blithe Spirit
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Grantham Dramatic Society’s next production – comedy classic ‘Blithe Spirit’ – opens at the Guildhall Arts Centre from Wednesday for four nights.

Noel Coward’s timeless play has brought together a talented cast of new and established performers for a week of spirited high jinks.

The play was chosen following a survey of audience members and the general public.

“At the performances of ‘The Vicar of Dibley’ last year, we handed out questionnaires asking people which shows they would like to see,” commented the play’s director, Rosemary Gibson. “We also put the survey online to reach even more people and Blithe Spirit was one of the most requested plays.”

When writer Charles Condomine arranges a séance to gather material for a new book, little does he realise that it will conjure up the ghost of his dead first wife. Unfortunately, he has remarried and his second wife is none too pleased with the change of arrangements in the household.

It’s then left to eccentric medium Madame Arcati to try and sort things out – but can she do the job?

Fundamentally a play about a man having two wives in the same house, at the same time, the comedy has delighted audiences since its first performance in 1941. An undeniable classic, GDS plans to take a fresh look at the show and give it their own spin.

Rosemary continued: “Having been involved with three previous productions of Blithe Spirit, I couldn’t resist finally getting to direct my favourite play. Noel Coward’s fascinating characters jump off the page, with witty dialogue and extraordinary situations.

“We’ve had a great time with the production, putting GDS’s own angle on it. For example, instead of being an older English woman, our Madame Arcati is Spanish and brings a whole new flavour to the role.”

GDS chairman Allison Allen added: “We’ve got a fabulous cast. As we often do, we’ve welcomed brand new members into the fold alongside regular performers.”

Susi Paez (Madame Arcati) and Claire Mathieson (Mrs Bradman) are fantastically talented new members, taking to the Grantham stage for the first time. Some GDS favourites are back as well, such as Helen Pack (Dolly in ‘One Man Two Guvnors’) as Elvira, and Gemma Dove (Geraldine Grainger in ‘Vicar of Dibley’) as Edith. Grantham favourite Steve Sale also returns as leading man Charles Condomine.

The cast is completed by Sonya Mahony and Tony Hine, both of whom are seasoned performers.

Allison said: “We’re so excited to share this entertaining production – don’t miss it!”

‘Blithe Spirit’ runs from May 24 to 27, with curtain up at 7.30pm nightly. Tickets are on sale now from the Guildhall Arts Centre on 01476 406158 (www.guildhallartscentre.com) or book online via www.granthamdramaticsociety.co.uk

GDS always welcomes new members and encourages people of all backgrounds who are interested in theatre and making new friends to get in touch.