by Noel Coward
Directed by Peter Ferrow

Performed at the Stiftstheater Augustinum
From 18 – 22 November, 2014

Researching for his next book, Charles Condomine, a successful novelist, invites the implausible medium Madame Arcati to his house for a seance. Whilst in a trance, Madame Arcati unwittingly summons the ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira, who has been dead for seven years. Appearing only to Charles, Elvira soon makes a move to reclaim her husband, much to the annoyance of Charles’ current wife Ruth.

Blithe Spirit dates from the 1940s. Its title, somewhat opaque for modern audiences, is taken from the then much-read poem To a Skylark by the English romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. The opening lines run:


Coward’s use of this title cleverly suggests the character of Elvira – carefree and not of this world.

The play was written within the space of a week in 1941 with the sole intention of giving people something to laugh at during the dark days of the Second World War. First performed in London the same year, it was an immediate success, also on Broadway, where a production was staged soon after. In 1945 a film version followed, with Rex Harrison in the lead role. Coward adapted the play himself, and also went on to create a musical High Spirits. Television and radio versions were also produced. The play’s appeal has never really faded, and it has continued to be part of the theatrical world’s standard repertoire up to the present day.


Edith: Julia Zerhusen
Ruth: Tracy Tollmann
Charles: Nick Nuttall
Mrs Bradman: Kathleen Schroers
Dr Bradman: Chris Wilde
Madame Arcati: Sue Ferrow
Elvira: Joanna Thorn
The Bonn Players