Feb 6, 2019
Category: News
Posted by: Keith Nuttall


'ALLO ALLO' directed by Jennie Scott-Reid , to be performed on Friday 31st May, Saturday 1st June and Sunday 2nd June, at Clavering Village Hall

Clavering Players Website

Blithe Spirit (Coward)

Taking a break from his relentless schmoozing to support the war effort in early 1941, and needing money, Noel Coward, rattled off ‘Blithe Spirit’ in an astounding five days, “when something goes snap and cascades of bright witticisms tumble out of me like coins from a fruit machine”. Audiences loved the play having, on the first night in London in July 1941, “walked across planks laid across the (blitz created) rubble to see it". Such was its popularity, that its run outlasted the war for a record breaking 1997 performances. As a comedy about death, it resonated, at that period in time, with people under daily attack themselves; even seven decades later, its witty timeless themes of a coexisting past and present, the challenges of commitment, and the complexities of married life - not to mention the ‘supernatural’ - have ensured its continued popularity.

Cast: (in the order of their appearance)

Ruth                            Charlotte Foster

Edith                           Teresa Hennessy

Charles                         Peter Clyne

Dr Bradman                   Judy Curry

Violet                           Jean Schofield

Madame Arcati               Jennifer Scott-Reid

Elvira                            Rachel Betts


Director                        Keith Nuttall


Review by Decia Ranger - Regional Representative

NODA East District 7

Director:  Keith Nuttall

Reviewed:  Sunday 10th April. 2016

“Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward has been a favourite of both professional and amateur theatre groups and their audiences for many years.  The subject matter may be macabre but it never fails to amuse and entertain and Clavering Players certainly know how to put on a production that keeps their audience focused until the very end.

We were greeted with an open stage, as is necessary in this venue, depicting an excellent set. A well furnished living room complete with fireplace and as far as I could see, everything else one would expect to find in a comfortable home of the era. 

Charles is researching his latest novel and wants to find out more about the occult. He calls upon Madame Arcarti to perform a séance in the presence of himself, his wife Ruth and their friends Violet and Dr. Bradman. Things don’t work out as planned however when Charles’ first wife Elvira appears as a ghostly presence visible only to him.

Teresa Hennessy was excellent as Edith the psychic maid, always rushing around and eager to please.  There were good performances from Peter Clyne as Charles the successful novelist and from Charlotte Foster as Ruth the rather straight laced second wife.

Jennifer Scott-Reid was brilliant as Madame Arcati.  Her costume perfectly conveyed her eccentricity, from the tasseled hat and earphones hairdo to the sensible skirt and shoes.

Rachel Betts as Elvira was a wonderfully ethereal vision floating around the set.

There were other good performances from Jean Schofield as Violet and Judy Curry as Dr. Bradman; the latter being a role written for a man but which worked well with a female actor.

I was aware of the prompt being brought in on two occasions.

A special mention must go to the set builders for incorporating some startling special effects.

This was a very enjoyable production by a company of experienced actors who obviously love what they do. 

What a pleasurable way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  Thank you for inviting me.