Blithe Spirit

Length: 1 hr and 44 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (85 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This classic comedy is set in the charming country home of Charles Condomine, a remarried widower. A witty and convivial evening party among friends is transformed when a seance conjures the ghost of Elvira, Charles' first wife, who delights in wreaking havoc among the living. An enchanting Coward comedy!
©1932 Noel Coward (P)1998 L.A. Theatre Works

What listeners say about Blithe Spirit

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Ms Geeson at her finest

This was always one of my favourite plays – I loved it having seen the David Lean film version when I was a child. But much as I love the film, it cannot hold a candle to this marvellous production. For a start it is exceptionally well cast. Ian Ogilvie is perfectly cast as the misogynistic but still sympathetic Charles Condomine – confused and then bemused by the appearance of his first wife, Elvira from beyond the grave. But the star of the show is undoubtedly Judy Geeson who steals every scene that she appears in with just the right touches of emotion, humour and downright devilishness. Her vowel sounds are a joy – I could listen to her speak for hours!
The story is simple but an absolute joy. This is without a doubt my favourite radio play in my vast collection!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Well presented classic theatre

Noel Coward is a playwright with timeless wit -- in both the dialogue and the plot.
Blithe Spirit is a somewhat cheeky comedy, exploring reactions to the deceased wife (the blithe spirit) talking to the remarried spouse via a wonderfully portrayed clairvoyant and spirit medium.
Coward is the epitome of the English playwright and the actors in this production are highly regarded British actors. I enjoyed the audience's reaction -- for me the immediacy of the theatre certainly added to the quality of the listening experience.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Dry Martini for the ears.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, just as an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon.

What about the narrators???s performance did you like?

They are all accomplished actors. The voices are different enough to easily distinguish them. It is a light and frothy play.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, it is short and we were driving a long way.

Any additional comments?

A polished and elegant performance of a play written by a very clever wordsmith.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Be careful what you wish for

Fun screwball comedy about a writer who invites a medium over to get information for his book. During the séance he unwittingly calls back his dead wife. He's the only one who can see her, causing chaos.

I watched the movie shortly after listening to this performance. Listen to this, and skip the movie.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Always A Favorite!!

Timeless story in a brilliant dramatization. I love hearing the audience reaction; makes me feel like I'm really at the theater :)

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Classic Coward

What made the experience of listening to Blithe Spirit the most enjoyable?

Each character is well portrayed, the timing is great and I'm really glad they have British accents.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Charles Condomine is such a cad, but in such a devilish way.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Elvira, so conniving and so transparent

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely Production

Any additional comments?

This was a charming production of a very funny play. The acting was wonderful with characters who were at once infuriating and endearing. The live audience was a great addition to this audio experience as were the occasional sound effects. Overall, a great play well done.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just like a LIVE SHOW!

I had the lucky opportunity to see ANGELA LANSBURY- in San Francisco (01-31-15) perform this LIVE-- she is such a great actress-- this audio version was s nice way to remember the play!

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What fun!

I felt it was a real treat to listen to professionals really bring this to life.

The story is wonderful and has been re-imagined many times over the years to greater and lesser degrees of success. It is a treat to sit down with a comedy of this sort and just enjoy its beauty.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • James C.
  • 10-26-17

Great live recording of a Coward classic!

Edited for audio recording but true to the original script! I found this extremely useful for learning my part for a local production. Great story. A drama full of hilarious arguments and quirky characters!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dr. R. Brompton
  • 08-09-16

Fabulous fun from the pen of Noel Coward

An excellent performance of Noel Coward's classic play. I particularly love the line "anyone can write books but it takes a real artist to make a truly dry Martini". Great fun.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Highlight
  • 01-18-13

Too LA Theatre With it’s Echo

Spoiled as most L.A Theatre productions are spoiled by the sound which comes across as recorded in a huge bare aircraft Hanger, giving of no atmosphere but cold emptiness.
A shame because I like Blithe Spirit and often watch the old film starring a young chutzpah only 2 chinned Margaret Rutherford giving a wonderful send up performance as the dotty spiritualist and the film has warmth, fun and is worth multiple viewing. However; this L.A performing leaves me rather like the ghost - cold, so I will not often listen to this.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy
  • 12-23-12

Classic comedy

This is Coward at his sparkling best, brilliant dialog. The interplay between characters in the awkward situation for a couple i.e. playing host to the spirit of the husband's dead wife.