Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit was one of the first plays, in fact the only play I can remember my mother talking about. Madame Arcati was being played by the mother of one of my school friends in that production and my mother was discussing with her sister how good the performance had been. That was my introduction to the world of drama.
Blithe Spirit was first performed in 1941 – dark days which needed some humour to lighten the worries of the war. The performance my mother talked about would be in the mid fifties when life had improved considerably.
On the Guardian website yesterday, I read that Dame Judi Dench is to play the part of Madame Arcati and apparently she and the director ‘feel that the “dark space” we are currently in provides another fittingly gloomy backdrop for the release of a production that they hope will lift people’s spirits.’
It says a lot about the current political climate when today is compared to the dark days of 1941.
School for Scandal has been dramatised on radio recently – that too seems to be all too relevant to today. Sometimes we need to take a step back in time to see what we’ve achieved, or not. Is the world of the future going to get better?