Blithe Spirit on Spalding stage

Mandie Collier as Madame Arcati. Photo: SG290216-135TW
Mandie Collier as Madame Arcati. Photo: SG290216-135TW
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Madame Arcati predicts a success for St Nicolas Players’ next show.

They are performing Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit at South Holland Centre in Spalding from Wednesday, March 16 to Saturday, March 19 (7.30pm each night).

Sue Ryder charity shop manager Alison Ivett with one of the costumes for the show. Photo: SG290216-140TW

Sue Ryder charity shop manager Alison Ivett with one of the costumes for the show. Photo: SG290216-140TW

The comic play is set in the summer of 1941 and first-time producer Lucy Turner was anxious to capture the elegance of that era in the characters’ clothing and on the set.

That challenge is already taken care of thanks to the Sue Ryder Vintage and Retro store in Peterborough and its sister charity shop in Spalding.

The vintage and retro store has loaned authentic costumes and props for the production.

Lucy says: “Their support has been invaluable because they have such a wide variety of items in the Vintage and Retro shop.

Promoting Blithe Spirit: Sue Ryder charity shop manager Alison Ivett and Madame Arcati, played by Mandie Collier. Photo: SG290216-142TW

Promoting Blithe Spirit: Sue Ryder charity shop manager Alison Ivett and Madame Arcati, played by Mandie Collier. Photo: SG290216-142TW

“I don’t think we could have done it without Sue Ryder, certainly not as accurately and not with as much panache and style, so we owe them huge thanks.”

In fact the cast are showing their appreciation by raising money for Sue Ryder with a collection in the interval.

The collection will be by volunteers from the Spalding shop, where a window display has been devoted to promoting the play as well as raising awareness of the fantastic range of fancy dress outfits available at the Peterborough vintage store.

Spalding shop manager Alison Ivett says the Peterborough shop in Bridge Street specialises in vintage clothing, accessories as well as furniture.

Being able to borrow vintage items has made life a lot easier for wardrobe mistress Anne Temple, who says the only items she hasn’t been able to source are men’s trousers from the early ’40s.

However Anne has sewn turn-ups on to more modern trousers so they look right for the era.

She has also had to reproduce one of the vintage dresses in a different colour for a ghost that appears in the play.

The ghost is mistakenly summoned by eccentric medium Madame Arcati (played by Mandie Collier) who has been invited to conduct a seance at the home of socialite Charles Condomine. He is only interested in gathering information for his next novel, but ends up being haunted by his first wife, Elvira.

The play was a huge success when it was first performed in the West End in 1941, creating a new long-run record for non-musical British plays.

Director Jules Jones says: “You might think you know the play, but we are putting a different spin on it.”

Tickets are £12 and £10 for concessions available from the box office on 01775 764777.