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Opening night goes with a bang!

Blithe Spirit, Repertory’s latest production, opened with a bang on Friday night to an enthusiastic audience. The cast of seven certainly stepped up to the mark, playing this fast-paced classic comedy with strong comic timing and some wonderful physical characterisations. Repertory stalwart Kerry Girdwood turned in another delightful performance, this time as the dotty medium, Madame Arcati, with her deliciously theatrical style perfectly suited to this eccentric character. Andrew Fawcett and Jane Mallasch both produced extremely accomplished and polished performances as the leads, husband and wife, Charles and Ruth Condomine – no mean feat considering the daunting number of lines to learn, and Talia Annear-Kjoss played a wonderfully vampy and mischievous Elvira – Charles’s deceased first wife who turns up unexpectedly to disrupt the proceedings. Karen Ellett brought her inimitable sense of comic timing to the small but scene-stealing role of Edith, the Condomine’s cockney maid, and Albert Sword and Jayne Fields completed the line-up playing the Dr and Mrs Bradman with aplomb.

Special mention must be made to Kerry Mountstephen who produced a wonderfully authentic looking 1940s costume design for the show, complete with a fabulous ‘floaty’ diaphanous gown for the ghostly Elvira. Kerry also took care of hairstyling and make-up for the show, and achieved the right balance of period style and theatrical glamour.

Blithe Spirit continues its run at Repertory, playing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 7.30pm and finishing with a late afternoon matinee on Sunday at 4pm. Tickets are available from the Royal Wanganui Opera House. www.wanganuirepertorytheatre.co.nz