The Scented Garden, St Ann's Well Gardens, Hove
Reviewer: Jan Melrose
Publication: The Argus
the past 12 hours I have been keeping a watchful eye out for ghosts.
Despite being a staunch disbeliever in all things supernatural,
so convincing is Sarah Mann's performance as the deranged Madame
Arcati I feel sure she must have conjured up something much more
than just the merriment and mirth which resounded from St Ann's
so far I have been witness to no supernatural spectres or poltergeists,
save for the unusual sight of Mann balancing precariously on her
hands, lifting her bent legs gingerly into the air behind her in
some kind of fanatical yoga position.
Although a touch on the spooky side, Blithe Spirit is a delight
to watch. Every playful line and witticism trips off the actors'
tongues with ease.
Stephanie Prince is every inch the mischievous temptress Elvira,
who has returned from the dead to reclaim her husband Charles Condomine
from second wife Ruth.
performs her ethereal role with grace and charm and the rather daring
neckline of her slinky cream satin dress is likely to set a few
Madeleine Harrington, as Ruth, is also impressive and brings a touch
of the frosty Sybil Fawlty to the role.
it all together though is Mann who revels in her part with gusto.
Reserved English titters soon give way to unabandoned side-splitting
laughter as Mann unleashes the full hilarity of Coward's lines on
physicality really brings her performance alive as she madly hula
dances across the grass, twists and contorts her body while in trances
and drops to her knees to impersonate a beetle, complete with pincers.
a light comedy about death during the Second World War is a brave
act, and performing it a challenge for any company, but Incisor
has found just the right balance and looks likely to be a permanent
fixture in the gardens every summer