REVIEW: Blithe Spirit (Gielgud Theatre, 2014)

What more can be written about this magnificent production which hasn’t already been bashed out on the keyboards of theatre fans the country over?!


Blithe Spirit is, without doubt, my favourite play and Dame Angela Lansbury is someone who has been a hero of mine since childhood. When news broke of the production, I absolutely must have been one of the first people to book a ticket for this production, itself having been on my bucket list for the past 5 years!

Most people will be here to get confirmation of what they already know to be true – Angela Lansbury is SENSATIONAL!

The problem with this production must surely also then be the casting of Dame Angela. There’s a real risk that her fellow actors will be overshadowed by her performance, however, I’m pleased to report that to anyone who appreciates good acting and fine performance, this simply isn’t the case. All of the other roles in this production are performed to perfection, and I think that Janie Dee as poor Mrs Condomine was a real pleasure to watch.

The set design and lighting is wonderfully accomplished and the space becomes incredibly flexible.

Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud TheatreBlithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre

We caught a Saturday matinée last week and found that it was absolutely a pensioner special/Angela fan club. My one wish for this production – Dame Angela’s status as 80s TV icon and special place in most people’s childhood through films such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Beauty and the Beast, will be enough to drive curious younger audiences in to the show and introduce them to this classic farce.

Bit of trivial for you fellow theatre buffs – Dame Angela’s mother, Moyna Macgill, made her debut on the same stage in 1918 – when the theatre was known as The Globe

At 2 hours and 30 minutes, the ticket prices become a lot more reasonable I think (I’ve seen similarly priced productions at 75 minutes) and seats in the front centre stalls, such as Row D, where we were, I’d definitely recommend as suitable for this production.

Get yourself in to a trance, and wander down to the Gielgud pronto – it’s one of those once in a lifetime theatrical events that you simply cannot miss!

About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.

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