Item description for Blithe Spirit: An Improbable Farce (Classic Drama) by Noel Coward...
When novelist Charles Condomine invites a medium into his house in order to learn about the occult for his new book, the last thing he or his second wife dream is that the seance will bring back his first wife, Elvira, who wants Charles all to herself!
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Noel Coward was born in 1899 in Teddington, Middlesex. He made his name as a playwright with The Vortex (1924), in which he also appeared. His numerous other successful plays included Fallen Angels (1925), Hay Fever (1925), Private Lives (1933), Design for Living (1933), and Blithe Spirit (1941). During the war he wrote screenplays such as Brief Encounter (1944) and This Happy Breed (1942). In the fifties he started a new career as a cabaret entertainer. He published volumes of verse and a novel, Pomp and Circumstance (1960), two volumes of autobiography, and four volumes of short stories: To Step Aside (1939), Star Quality (1951), Pretty Polly Barlow (1964), and Bon Voyage (l967). Coward was knighted in 1970 and died three years later in Jamaica.
Noel Coward was born in 1899 and died in 1973 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Playwright, UK.
Noel Coward has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Blithe Spirit: An Improbable Farce (Classic Drama)?
An excellent reading of a very funny play Sep 6, 2003
Noel Coward called "Blithe Spirit" an "improbable farce." Well, supernatural it is, as you well know if you saw that superb film made many years ago with Rex Harrison as the poor husband, now into his second and apparently not ideal marriage, who winds up hosting the ghost of his first wife when he sets up a séance to get some material for a book.
I will not reveal any more of this delicious plot other than that the Coward wit is intact and his views of marriage are not changed from those in "Private Lives." But now we have the chance to hear it again and again as an excellent audio-version issued by Naxos on two CDs (NA226312) or on two cassettes (NA226314). Actually I should have said 1.5 cassettes since Naxos decided to keep each of the three acts on a single side, leaving the second side of the second tape simply blank.
Although much of the fun comes from the sight gags of things floating in the air and characters on stage being unable to see the ghost(s), enough of the situation comes across in this well-produced recording. We have as the husband Colin Redgrave (a familiar face from many a Masterpiece Theatre), Kika Markham as the new wife Ruth, and Thelma Ruby as the bumbling but still authentic medium Madame Arcati.
The unwelcome ghost Elvira is played by the lush-voiced Joanna Lumley, best known today as the never quite sober Patsy on "Absolutely Fabulous" and best known several years ago as the battling Purdy on "The New Avengers."
A very funny play done to perfection and even funnier with recordings of the author himself singing some of his lyrics between the scenes. The last one is especially appropriate, so look for it.