Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward, The National Theatre, June 1976 (and tour)

Designer - Eileen Diss
Lighting designer - Richard Pilbrow Costume designer - Robin Fraser-Paye

Edith - Susan Williamson
Ruth - Rowena Cooper
Charles - Richard Johnson
Dr. Bradman - Geoffrey Chater
Mrs. Bradman - Joan Hickson
Madame Arcati - Elizabeth Spriggs
Elvira - Maria Aitken


"Mel Gussow: Do you particularly like Noel Coward? Harold Pinter: Well, yes. I can't say that I read very much Coward, but I was asked by Peter Hall to consider the play. I read it and I thought it'd be fun to do. And it wasn't fun to do. It was very hard to do. MG: Do you feel an affinity with Coward? HP: I don't feel very much affinity, but I did admire a great deal about Coward. He was a man of considerable range, and, again, he could bring the house down. I love the fun and games of Blithe Spirit. But one found that even he, a pretty economical writer, went in for a kind of exposition that was somewhat laboured. There was nothing one could do about it. There was no question of cutting it. You had to live with it. That was the play."

Mel Gussow, Conversations with Harold Pinter, London: Nick Hern, 1994, p.61.

"Harold addresses [the cast]: 'Noel Coward calls this play an improbable farce. Well, I just wish to make one thing clear - I do not regard it as improbable and I do not regard it as a farce.'"

Peter Hall, John Goodwin (ed.), Peter Hal'1s Diaries: The Story of a Dramatic Battle, London: Hamish Hamilton, 1983, p.238.

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