Jennifer Saunders

Jennifer Saunders

Date of birth: 06-07-1958

Jennifer Saunders to star in a Noel Coward revival

Playing batty clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit

Jennifer Saunders is to star in a new stage  production of Noel Coward’s classic comedy Blithe Spirit.

The Ab Fab creator will play the preposterous clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, who stages a seance at a novelist’s home and inadvertently conjures up the ghost of his first wife.

Margaret Rutherford made the role famous in the 1945 David Lean film version of the play and the original 1941 West End production, which ran for a then-record 1,997 performance.

Beryl Reid took the part in a 1970 West End run - one of several revivals, the latest coming in 2014 with Angela Lansbury as the medium.

Saunders made a return to the London stage last year for the first time in more than two decades, playing the gossipy Duchess of Berwick in a new version of the Oscar Wilde comedy Lady Windermere's Fan.

The new production of Blithe Spirit will open at the Theatre Royal in Bath on June 13, with tickets going on general sale on March 7. It is directed by former National Theatre boss Richard Eyre.

Cranford star Lisa Dillon will also appear as Ruth Condomine, with further casting to be announced. F

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Published: 22 Feb 2019

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