West End Return – Jennifer Saunders

Today I went to see my first theatre show since Covid began. I was due to see this actual production in March 2020 but something got in the way. Nevertheless, after a long wait, I found myself outside the Harold Pinter theatre again today.

Excited to be back.

I originally heard about this play in 2015 when Angela Lansbury did a turn in the role of Madame Arcati but I was too late to get tickets. So naturally, as soon as I was aware that Jennifer Saunders was taking that role I immediately booked some tickets.

I was lucky enough to see another play with Jennifer in and meet her briefly in 2018.

I looked like a startled ghost but it was good to meet Jennifer.

Anyway, in today’s play she was on top form as a happy ‘medium‘ brought in to make a connection with the afterlife by a well off gentleman and his wife, in the presence of the local doctor.

Written by Noel Coward and directed by Richard Eyre, this production was brilliantly funny. Richard famously directed ‘The Children Act’ with Emma Thompson, ‘Iris’ with Kate Winslet and ‘Notes on a Scandal’ with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench.

I love when the curtain goes up.

All of the actors were superb. Special mention goes to a very amusing servant (Edith) played by Rose Wardlaw. Her physical comedy was hilarious and added laughs to an already vibrant matinee. Of course, Jennifer played an older lady with crazy amounts of vigour and moments reminiscent of The wonderful Edina in Absolutely Fabulous. With two hour-long acts, this play kept us interested and laughing.

I absolutely loved my first outing to London this year and totally recommend getting tickets for Blithe Spirit if you are nearby.

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