Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Blithe Spirit

OK, so here is the story on why I was "purple" in those cast photos of Blithe Spirit, the community theatre production that I just directed.

The play is about an author, Charles Condomine, who wants to write a mystery novel about a homicidal medium. In order to get background material for the story he invites a local crackpot medium over for a dinner party and a seance. He also invites his good friends the Bradmans to join in the fun.

Neither Charles, nor his wife Ruth (played by yours truly), nor the Bradmans believe in seances or fortune telling at all but they all agree to play along so that Charles can get the information he needs. During the seance Madame Arcati, the medium, does a lot of chanting and moaning and whirling around but nothing much happens.
Or does it? During the seance Charles begins to hear the voice of his deceased first wife, Elvira. (Poor thing was convalescing after a bout of pneumonia and suddenly began to laugh helplessly at one of the BBC musical programs and died of a heart attack.) No one else can hear her and they all think he is making a joke.
But she is no joke. Elvira, the blithe spirit, is back and creating mischief between Charles and Ruth. Of course no one but Charles can see or hear Elvira so Ruth believes he is totally insane. He finally convinces her that Elvira is truly there, in spirit, so to speak, by having Elvira carry a bowl of flowers across the room while Ruth watches. Ruth then sets out to get Madame Arcati back so that she can dematerialize Elvira as soon as possible.

The middle part of the play is all a series of fights between Charles and Ruth and Charles and Elvira. (I apparently don't have any pictures of that or of the beautiful dresses I wore during those scenes.) Ruth finally discovers that Elvira's plan is to kill Charles so they can be together forever on some "astral plane" and leave her high and dry. Unfortunately Ruth didn't quite unveil the plan quickly enough. Elvira had sabotaged the car and then planned to have Charles drive her to town, however, Ruth drove to town first and ended up being in the car crash planned for her husband.

(That's how I died...and I wasn't purple. For some reason the colors didn't come through but both of the ghosts, Elvira and Ruth, are completely gray....skin, hair, clothes, shoes, etc.)

So now poor Charles is haunted by two ghosts who are constantly bickering and vying for his attention. He can't see Ruth but he knows that she is there following him around all the time. At his wits end he calls on Madame Arcati again. He wants to dematerialize both of them.
Unfortunately Madame Arcati is unable to accomplish much through the seance so she has to go in to a trance. The only thing her trance accomplishes however is to make Ruth visible to Charles and Elvira. After weeks of trying to live with two deceased wives Charles calls Madame Arcati back for a third time. Both Ruth and Elvira are sick of the whole situation as well and wish to be sent back to the other side a.s.a.p.

In the end it is discovered that Charles was not the psychic force that was calling to the women from beyond the grave as was originally supposed. It was actually the maid, Edith. Madame Arcati hypnotizes Edith and makes her set things right as the ghosts disappear. But are they really gone?

As Charles tidies up around the house he discovers (through a series of objects flying through the air and doors slamming etc.) that his wives have not left after all they are merely invisible again. The whole play ends with a special effects show in which the wives show their displeasure at Charles leaving them for good by smashing up the house.

It was really a fun show and we all enjoyed ourselves a lot. The food was great (It was a dinner theatre. Did I mention that?) and the attendance was good as well. We are looking forward to doing more shows in the future.

1 comment:

Deena said...

What FUN!! I'm glad you are having opportunities to get out and follow your passions. :) I actually looked up the synopsis of the play prior to posting the other comment, just in case you *had* been sick that night and had very poor color. lol