Charles Condomine (John Bidner) and his wife Ruth (Dee O’Connor) on the set of Blithe Spirit at EMCS.

Haunting British comedy comes to EMCS

Noel Coward’s dark and hilarious Blithe Spirit comes to life through the Sooke Harbour Players.

British humour is back in town with more gut-busting comedy, featuring Sooke Harbour Players latest works: Noel Coward’s hilariously-dark Blithe Spirit.

Set in the early 40s, the play follows socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric Madame Arcati to his house to conduct a seance (a ritual to attempt communication with spirits) hoping to gather material for his book. Only, the seance takes a turn and he becomes haunted by the ghost of his first wife Elvira, who keeps trying to get in the way of his marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who’s oblivious to Elvira’s presence.

Hilarity ensues.

For director Drew Kemp, the same mastermind behind Annie and countless other plays in Victoria and B.C., it’s a step in a different but good direction for the Players.

“We wanted to expand the season for the Sooke Harbour Players rather than just doing musicals, they want to put a play in there. It’s as good as you can get as far as British comedies. Lots of situations that go awry,” he said, adding this is very much an “ensemble” play, as there’s no lead person that really stands out.

Kemp’s favourite part in the play is the banter that goes inbetween the first and second wife, and Charles, who is caught in the middle. The first wife is not seen by the second wife, and she’s always in the wrong place and the wrong time.

But as hilarious as that sounds, it’s also complicated to properly coordinate.

“Visually, that was a challenge for me to direct, because you have to make that believable in the first place … it’s hard to be looking at someone, but that someone is not supposed to be there,” Kemp laughed.

Alex Borradaile, who plays the ghost of Elvira, and a Players member for more than a year now, found herself in a similar challenging, albeit fun position.

“It’s neat, because only my husband can see me … I’m reacting to the people around me, but they cant react or see me, because I’m not there,” Borradaile chuckled, adding that to bring Elvira’s ghostly image to life, she’ll be going with some pale makeup and a locally-made a white gown. “It’s very flowy and got wings, very ghost-like.”

No doubt, Elvira is a troublemaker. Her whole plan is to kill her husband so they can be together, so she pulls all these pranks to make it happen.

Blithe Spirit delivers a shocking truth at the end of how these ghosts kept tormenting Charles, of course, not without giving you a few chuckles along the way.

Blithe Spirit plays on April 21, 22, 23, 28 and 30 at Edward Milne Community School theatre, with doors at 7 p.m. and show at 7:30. Sunday matinee shows door at 2 p.m., show at 2:30. Tickets are $20, free for 13 and under, and $15 for seniors.

Just Posted

Victoria hopes to have a fully electric bus fleet by 2030

Business plan to be created, region to request its use as a pilot community for project

Sooke rescinds bench letters, offers apology

District sent out letters asking $2000 for maintenance from those who purchased memorial benches

Six-year-old Sooke boy needs $19,000 a month to treat rare form of arthritis

Mother of sick boy asks government to help fund treatments

Bird watchers gear up for annual count

Count takes place in Langford, Colwood, Victoria, North and Central Saanich

CRD awards contract for waste processing facility at Hartland

Facility will process residual solids into so-called Class A biosolids

VIDEO: Oak Bay senior boys basketball takes Tsumura title

Junior and senior teams host Gary Taylor Classic starting Thursday

Tequila, hammers and knives: what not to bring on an airplane

Vancouver International Airport staff provide tips on travelling during the holidays

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

Ensemble Laude women’s choir to perform in Victoria, Oak Bay this weekend

Choir will sing enchanting winter hymns at Champagne Tea, Spellbound

B.C. polygamous leader argues charge should be dropped in charter challenge

Winston Blackmore argues some of the evidence shouldn’t be used against him

LETTER: Proportional representation makes votes count

Fair Vote Canada representative responds to Tom Fletcher column

B.C. dog owners warn about chain collars after puppy almost strangled

Young Rottweiler pup couldn’t breathe after another dog caught tooth on his collar

Accused NYC subway bomber expected to face federal charges

Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged Tuesday with terrorism and weapons related charges

Most Read