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After her revelatory revival of Terence Rattigan's inter-war play After the Dance at the National last year, director Thea Sharrock takes a good hard look at Noël Coward's 1941 ghoulish comedy.

A stellar cast shines throughout this latest stage production where Robert Bathurst is reunited with his fictional TV drama wife from Cold Feet, Hermione Norris as they depict the lead characters Charles & Ruth Condomine.

The Condomines are holding a dinner party for friends, Charles is researching a new book on the occult, to which end he's invited round Clairvoyant, Madame Arcati (played by Alison Steadman) to instruct them all in the etiquette of séances and proof of contact.

At the séance, Arcati inadvertently summons Charles's first wife, Elvira, who has been dead for seven years much to the dismay of Ruth, his current wife. Catfights ensue once Elvira sets her mind to have Charles join her in the afterlife.

There is good fun to be had from Alison Steadman’s splendid performance as Arcati, a bossy, dotty, jolly old soul much given to mad roars, barks and groans as she attempts to make contact with the other side.

Great comic entertainment and fun for everyone.

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Published: 13/04/2011 16:35:37