Yesterday (Sunday 3rd July), as swallows twittered and zoomed above Sampford Courtenay Village Hall on a perfect summer afternoon, Hatherleigh Players produced one of the best amateur productions we've seen in a long time. Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit starts from a simple precept: how does a medium go about her business? The plot moves quickly into the inadvertent (?) manifestion of a previously deceased wife who the master of the house can see and hear while nobody else can. The spirit proves more malign than expected, leading to a second death and a mess of on-stage business that was acted out well in front of an appreciative crowd.
As the medium Madame Arcati, Ricki Entwhistle added just the right amount of dottiness. Stephen Carter, in his first major role with the Players, played Mr Condomine perfectly. The support casting was perfect too: they were Charli Sizmur as Mrs Condomine, Alan Jones as Dr Bradman with Jane Fawcett as his wife, and Pauline Luke as the dizzy maid who plays an inadvertent part in the emanations. A special mention goes to Christy Rice as the blithe-spirited golden-blonde apparition, dressed from head to toe in silver/grey while floating about the Condomine household causing mayhem. The outdoor location made her ghostliness all the more convincing.
All credit too to the backstage crew - costumes, sound, set, props, etc. were all to a very high standard. The final credit must go to Jane Francis for adroitly directing a lengthy play that amused constantly and never bored (although taking 5-10 minutes out of the script might have proved worthwhile.) This Sampford Courtenay production was the second in a series of three performances: the third is at Castle Drogo on 9th July 6:00pm for 6:30pm . Don't miss your favourite faces in this masterful production - it's well worth taking the trip. Tickets from Castle Drogo. Please bring something to sit on.
MORE PICTURES BELOW (NB: a disk of all images taken on the day is being donated to the Players for their archives.)