Review / Coward with a light, delicate touch

Share Canberra's trusted news:

Yanina Clifton as Edith and  and Anita Davenport as Elvira in "Blithe Spirit".
Yanina Clifton as Edith and and Anita Davenport as Elvira in “Blithe Spirit”.
IN her debut production for REP, Kate Blackhurst takes on one of the most difficult plays in the standard English language repertoire.

Rippling with subtle wit that partly depends on outdated views about class, marriage and ethnicity, “Blithe Spirit” demands a light, delicate touch.

Peter Holland as the husband of two wives (one alive, one dead) brings that lightness to his part, but most of the other characters do not, with the result that the lengthy first half drags ever so slightly and fails to achieve many of the laughs.

The period setting allows a triumph for set designer Andrew Kay and costume designer Anna Senior, apart from a strange lapse that sees the ghostly wife Elvira (the more glamorous wife) dressed in questionable taste and wearing heavy ghostly make up that is entirely superfluous.

Stealing all her scenes was Liz St Clair-Long as the weird medium, Madame Arcati, a delicious role of which she made the most.

Emma Wood as the rationalist wife Ruth gives a sharp, focused performance and the youngest member of the cast, Yanina Clifton, plays  her role of the unwitting maid/medium with affecting ingenuousness.

The final moments of the play, when the set is quite literally trashed by two warring ghosts, is a coup for the technical team at REP and draw applause for the skill and the humour.

 

Who Can You Trust?

In a world beleaguered by spin and confused messages, there's never been more need for diverse, trustworthy, independent journalism in Canberra.

Who can you trust? Well, for more than 25 years, "CityNews" has proudly been an independent, free, family-owned news magazine, serving the national capital with quality, integrity and authority. Through our weekly magazine and daily through our digital platforms, we constantly and reliably deliver high-quality and diverse opinion, news, arts, socials and lifestyle columns.

If you trust our work online and believe in the power of independent voices, I encourage you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support will be invested back into our journalism so we can continue to provide a valuably different view of what's happening around you and keep citynews.com.au free.

Click here to make your donation and you will be supporting the future of journalism and media diversity in the ACT.

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Previous articleDid you see some Mazda on Holden action in Franklin on Friday?
Next articleSunday’s triathlon cancelled
Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

Leave a Reply