Theatre legend, Oscar-winner and five-time Tony Award-winner Angela Lansbury returns to the West End
Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit is one of those comic gems that has managed to keep audiences entertained since the 1940s when it first premiered and earned a record-breaking run in the West End. So it is no surprise to see it appear on the stage once again, this time at the Gielgud Theatre, with Angela Lansbury as Madame Arcati, undoubtedly attracting many audiences eager to see a well known face on a West End stage.
Blithe Spirit was first seen by those with theatre tickets in Manchester in the 1940s, with West End audiences having to wait an extra month for its arrival at the Piccadilly Theatre. It was an instant success and remained at the location for a then-record breaking number of performances. More recently, it appeared at the Apollo Theatre in 2011 with Alison Steadman in a lead role and the renowned Thea Sharrock directing.
The comic tale tells of a writer, married to his second wife Ruth, by the name of Charles Condomine, who turns to an unlikely source for inspiration for his latest novel. With his dinner guests in attendance he hires a medium by the name of Madame Arcati (Lansbury) to provide everyone with some memorable entertainment that will give him plenty of food for thought. But Condomine’s plan backfires when Arcati manages to conjure up a spirit after all, who is about to turn the evening upside down. And it’s not just any spirit; it’s the spirit of his first wife Elvira, who is dead set on tearing his current marriage apart.
Angela Lansbury is perhaps best known to many for her role as Jessica Fletcher in the television series Murder She Wrote, though she has enjoyed a long and successful career that has also included the movies The Manchurian Candidate and Bedknobs And Broomsticks. For the stage she has appeared in famous productions of Mame on Broadway in the 1960s and Hamlet at the National Theatre in the 1970s. So her appearance in Blithe Spirit is likely to attract a great deal of attention.
"Angela Lansbury possesses star quality in abundance"The Sunday Telegraph
"Angela Lansbury is gob-smackingly brilliant"Daily Express
"Angela Lansbury is perfect. A top show. A West End event"Daily Mail
"Angela Lansbury is terrific. A tour de force"The Daily Telegraph
"Michael Blakemore's new production is a dream. Very very funny"The Sunday Times