Blithe Spirit written by Noel Coward is a comedy where Charles Condomine whose wife died remarries but the ghost of his dead wife, Elvira come back to haunt his life and that of the new wife, Ruth. Charles can see her dead wife but Ruth cannot. Ruth thinks Charles has gone insane until he sees a vase floating in the room, that he accepts the truth. This leads to a competition between the two wives, one dead and the other living. They compete to win their husband but Charles is not even sure who he wants to be with.
This is from a video from Glencoe High School's theatre November 2007 performance. The main actors in this play that are of much interest are Elvira (Shannon Reiter), Ruth Condomine (Tiffany Groben) and Charles Condomine (Sam Duzett). The director of the play is Holly Wagner.
The lighting is great for it bring out visibility throughout the play for we can see the actors. This shows how the lighting crew had worked on the visibility which is considered the most fundamental function of stage lighting for one has to see for them to understand the play. This depends on the intensity, size, contrast, color and movement of the light, which is well balanced in this play. The lighting in the play also provides a sense of naturalism for instance the play lightings bring out the gothic part in the play for instance where Charles talks to his dead wife’s spirit Elvira, more light is focused on her while the other part are deem but still maintains visibility. This brings out the gothic and spooky part in the play for the spirit nature of Elvira is brought out. The audience has a touch of some spirit being involved. There is a good lighting composition in this play. In most parts of the play there is balanced lighting on stage. These changes in some instances where light is more focused on one actor, for instance in the same scene where Charles and Elvira are talking, more light is focused on Elvira and this brings out a perfect light composition in the play. Also we see vertical lighting used on Elvira; this is where light is focused on one person directly overhead. Lighting has also been used to bring out the mood in the play. This is done by reducing the intensity of light in some instances or using a different color but this will depend on the audience perception of a certain color.
This is the immovable part of the stage. It plays a vital role in this play. The stage is well set for it doesn’t predict the play and you cannot know how the play will end. It conveys the story that is to be told before the play starts. This is well done for it is simple enough for the audience to follow the play so they don’t have to look for the actor to listen to or see. This is made possible in this setting for the door that the actors pass through is strategic for the actors’ maximum visibility. The color in the setting is well chosen to bring a dull yet comic mood in the play. The set has avoided so bright color to bring out a dull mood in the play. The setting also brings out the timing on when the play take place. It takes us back to the olden English days. The setting is also strategic for it falls in the sightlines of the theatre.
Props are the objects that are used on stage in a play to bring continuity. Props may be large or small. Larger props are sometimes used as decorations in a play, for instance in this play we have the sofa and the table. Smaller props also called hand props are widely used. In this play for instance there is the use of cups as props when the characters take tea or water also the vase can be said to be a prop for we are made to imagine that it is Elvira moving it across the house. The director of this play knows very well how to use and place his props for the props are made part of the stage setting. The play starts with the props in place. The props have been used perfectly to bring out a scene of emotional impact. This would not have happened without the props. The props are used well for their original use in normal life situation is maintained for instance the cups are used for taking tea which is its original use. Some decoration in the play are converted to props as the play continues for instance the vase starts as a decoration but letter ends as a prop.
This is the movement and positioning of the actors on the stage to enhance the smooth flow of the play and avoid confusion. This is well done in this play for the actor move in an orderly manner on the stage. In most cases when one actor walks along the stage the other stops. This shows that the blocks in this play was well rehearsed. This has also been made possible by the good arrangement of the props and the decorations on the stage. Blocking has been used significantly to bring about naturalism in the play. In this play, stage lighting is focused on a part of the stage mostly at the beginning of the play and also when Charles is talking to Elvira. This puts the actors on the spot to be ready to be at the right spot at the right time so that they can be visible and well lit. In this play blocking brings out the right focus to the required spots thus allowing for a smooth transition.
Music has been used greatly in the play. Music has been used to bring in some mystical nature in the play and also give the audience some touch of spirit world being involved. For instance in the scene where Madam Arcati tries to talk to the spirit world, music plays on the background to give the mood of the play and also brings in some spiritualism in the play. This is well combine with the change in lighting where it all goes dark but the music still plays. This brings in a gothic touch to the play. Madam Arcati also sings in act 2 to bring up some scary feeling in the play. This is also well balance with the lighting for only a part is illuminated with red light.
This are the applications on the actors face so as to change their looks. Looking at Elvira in the play, makeups have been used on her to bring out her gothic nature. This is made possible by making her look whiter, to signify the nature of a spirit. This is perfected by using so bright or luminous light on her. This gives a good relationship on how light and make up are combined together to bring out the gothic nature of the play.
This are worn by the actors to give to give them a character of the person they are acting as. This includes things like clothing, belts, scarfs, jeweler and also props. The director in this play is keen on picking his costumes he picks the right costumes to bring out the gothic nature of Elvira. Elvira puts on a silk white dress that is also well illuminated with light to bring out her spirit nature. Costumes can also be used to bring out the mood in a play. The director uses darker clothes to bring out dull mood. The costumes chosen auger well with the stage settings. There is a good combination of both the costumes and the makeups in the play. For instance Elvira the spirit is white and has dull clothes to signify the spirit world. Costumes and makeups are well combined to produce a compositional effect. This allows her face to stand out from the surrounding which is seen as gloomy thus receiving attention from the audience in the scene where Charles is talking to Elvira and more light is focused on Elvira’s face.
Generally the play was well done.