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Blithe Spirit starring Jennifer Saunders returns in 2020 for UK Tour and West End transfer

Jennifer Saunders in Blithe Spirit. Photo credit: Nobby Clark.

FOLLOWING a celebrated reception in Bath earlier this summer, Noël Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit returns in 2020 for a UK tour, followed by a strictly limited 6-week engagement at the Duke of York’s Theatre (March 5 to April 11).

Directed by Sir Richard Eyre and starring Jennifer Saunders, the production opens at Theatre Royal Brighton (January 22 to 25) before visiting Malvern Theatre (January 27 to February 1), Theatre Royal Bath (February 4 to 8), Cambridge Arts Theatre (February 10 to 15), Richmond Theatre (February 17 to 22) and Norwich Theatre Royal (February 24 to 29).

Jennifer Saunders, one of the UK’s most popular comic actors, will revive her role as the preposterous clairvoyant Madame Arcati. She is joined by original cast members Geoffrey Streatfeild (as Charles), Lisa Dillon (Ruth Condomine), Emma Naomi (Elvira), Simon Coates (Dr Bradman), Lucy Robinson (Mrs Bradman), and Rose Wardlaw (Edith).

The production brings together a distinguished and multi-award-winning creative team, directed by former National Theatre director Sir Richard Eyre with design by Anthony Ward, lighting by Howard Harrison, sound by John Leonard and illusions by Paul Kieve.

Written in 1941, Coward’s inventive, witty and meticulously engineered comedy proved light relief and a popular distraction at the height of World War II when it was first staged. The show had a record-breaking run in the West End and on Broadway and remains one of the playwright’s most popular works.

Novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth are literally haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a séance. When she appears, visible only to Charles, and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life – and the afterlife – get complicated.

This new production opened in June as part of Artistic Director Jonathan Church’s second Summer Season at Theatre Royal Bath where it played to sell out houses and was widely praised by critics and public alike. It is the third play from Jonathan Church’s Summer Season programmes to transfer to the West End following last year’s 50th anniversary production of Arthur Miller’s The Price at Wyndham’s Theatre and Switzerland at the Ambassadors.

Blithe Spirit is presented by Theatre Royal Bath Productions, Lee Dean and Jonathan Church Productions.

Tickets are on sale now for the Duke of York’s Theatre via www.atgtickets.com/shows/blithe-spirit/duke-of-yorks-theatre/ and are available for Brighton, Malvern, Bath, Cambridge, Richmond and Norwich via individual venues and websites.

Production images

Image: Jennifer Saunders in Blithe Spirit. Photo credit: Nobby Clark.