The first trailer for Blithe Spirit is here, giving us a chance to savor Dame Judi Dench as one of Noël Coward‘s most hilarious characters, eccentric medium Madame Arcati.
Based on Coward’s enduringly popular play of the same name, the period comedy movie stars Dan Stevens as Charles Condomine, a novelist with writer’s block who invites Dench’s clairvoyant Madame Arcati – whom he suspects is a phony – to his house so he can gather material for his next novel. But when Madame Arcati holds a séance, she seemingly conjures the spirit of Charles’s late first wife Elvira (Leslie Mann), who duly tries to disrupt his marriage to new wife Ruth (Isla Fisher).
Ruth can’t see or hear Elvira, but Charles can, setting the stage for a classic Coward farce. Renowned British theater director Edward Hall directs this film adaptation, which also stars Julian Rhind-Tutt (Harlots), Emilia Fox (Silent Witness), and James Fleet (Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Check out the trailer below.
Blithe Spirit was previously adapted into a 1945 movie directed by Sir David Lean and starring Rex Harrison as Charles and Dame Margaret Rutherford as Madame Arcati. More recently, Dame Angela Lansbury won Tony and Olivier Awards for portraying Madame Arcati first on Broadway in 2009, and then in London’s West End in 2014-15. There’s even a production of Blithe Spirit currently touring the U.K. with Absolutely Fabulous actress Jennifer Saunders as the quirky clairvoyant – it really is a classic comedy.
Blithe Spirit opens in the U.K. on May 1, but its U.S. release date hasn’t been confirmed yet. Given the stellar cast, it surely won’t be too long before we hear further details, though.
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