Courtney Act stars in STC’s revamped production of Noël Coward’s BLITHE SPIRIT
International Drag Sensation Courtney Act will do it Sydney Theater Company debut alongside a spectacular cast of Australian comedy legends in STC’s upcoming production of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit at the Sydney Opera House from March 21.
STC Associate Director Paige Rattray is at the helm following the critical acclaim of her recent productions Death of a Salesman and Triple X. Rattray’s production of Blithe Spirit promises to take Coward’s camp sensibility to a whole new level in a contemporary take on this witty and hilarious film. classic.
Rattray has assembled a stellar cast to bring his vision to life, including stage and screen star Matt Day (The Deep Blue Sea), Nancy Denis in her STC debut, Bessie Holland (Cosi), Tracy Mann (Home, I’m Darling), Megan Wilding (Blackie Blackie Brown) and Brigid Zengeni (Death of a Salesman) alongside Courtney Act.
While staying true to Coward’s signature spirit and English countryside setting, Rattray said his production of Blithe Spirit was inspired by the “Met Gala crossed with Keeping Up With The Kardashians, a healthy dose of Will & Grace and a good pinch of RuPaul’s Drag Course”.
“We’re giving this game a complete facelift with botox and fillers,” Rattray said. “Originally written and staged in the 1940s, our production is set in the present day to resonate with contemporary audiences, but we haven’t lost any of the cowardly flair, all that fabulousness is still there. “
Courtney Act said that after years of performing on stages and on TV screens around the world, it was time for her to make a play and couldn’t think of a better fit than STC’s Blithe Spirit.
“My acting career peaked in its early days – I’m on a slippery slope to community theater after that,” Courtney said.
“This play, this cast and this creative team are anything but joyous, audiences are ready for a tumultuous and creaky night at the Sydney Opera House.”
Matt Day said he was “extremely excited to work with Paige and this incredible cast, bringing this comedic gem to life and evoking as many laughs as humanly possible”.
Day plays Charles Condomine, a novelist who recently married his second wife Ruth after the tragic death of his first, Elvira (played by Act). Hoping to gather material for his new book, Charles invites eccentric medium Madame Arcati (Zengeni) into his home. The couple and their funny friends are expecting a lark, and maybe some cheap scares. But the ritual goes mysteriously wrong and Charles ends up with much more than he bargained for.
Ghostly, glamorous and more than a little mischievous, Elvira returns from the world beyond the veil, ready to wreak havoc on the “happily” married couple.
STC’s Blithe Spirit is presented at the Sydney Opera House’s Drama Theater from March 21 to May 14.