It’s 75 years since Noel Coward wrote Blithe Spirit, and to celebrate the anniversary a special amateur production of the comedy play is being staged at Portmeirion Village, where it was written in 1941.
The comedy will be performed in the style of a radio play with costumes, and will star TV’s favourite astrologer Russell Grant, who lives in nearby Maentwrog. Grant will play the lead role of Madame Arcati, a magnificently dotty character and a role which has previously been played by Angela Lansbury in London’s West End. This is the first time a man has played the role.
Grant has been keen to put on a production of Blithe Spirit at Portmeirion for many years, and had originally planned to mark the play’s 70th anniversary at Portmeirion in 2011. However, filming commitments for Strictly Come Dancing meant these plans had to be put on hold.
The supporting cast, comprising members of Criccieth’s Starlight Players, will be dressed in full 1940s costume for the performances, which will take place in Portmeirion’s compact yet absolutely stunning Hercules Hall – less than a hundred yards from the room in which the play was written all those years ago.
And despite the amateur nature of the production, it’s being done in a very authentic way that Coward would have been delighted with: from stage directions to sound, not to mention the very special performance space, there’s a real feeling of the production coming home and returning to its roots.
Blithe Spirit will be performed between 19th and 21st October 2016. Tickets cost £20 each and a glass of fizz is included in the ticket price. Audience members are encouraged to get into the ‘spirit’ of the performance by dressing in 1940s or vintage costumes of their own, if they have them. Accommodation and dinner packages are also available.
To book, call 01766 772 390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.