October 21, 2021 - October 24, 2021
Hosted by Royal Canadian Theatre Company
Anvil Theatre Centre, 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster, BC, V3M 1B6, Canada
The comedy follows novelist Charles Condomine and his second wife Ruth as they are haunted by a past relationship when an eccentric medium inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, at a seance. When she appears, visible only to Charles and determined to sabotage his current marriage, life—and the afterlife—get complicated.
Charles and Ruth Condomine await three dinner guests, including noted medium Madame Arcati. Charles plans to use the seance for his new book, a supernatural thriller. However, Madame Arcati doesn’t know this. While they wait, Ruth tries to teach their new maid Edith proper conduct.
The conversation turns to Charles’ late wife, Elvira, who died of a heart attack a few years ago while laughing wildly. Ruth was also previously married and says that she’s not insecure at all about Elvira. However, she seems defensive when it’s brought up how attractive Elvira was. Her phrasing indicates that she feels like she’s still competing with Elvira for Charles’ attention. She tells Charles that he’s always been dominated by women, and he’s still under Elvira’s spell. He denies this, and tells Ruth that if this was true, she’s the one currently dominating his life.
The first guests arrive, the married Bradmans. The two couples talk about Madame Arcati, who they’ve only heard of. Charles is skeptical about her writing career, which include children’s books and biographies. They’re interrupted when Madame Arcati arrives on her bicycle, and the party officially begins.
Relaxed performance on October 24.