Review Round-up: Blithe Spirit, Harold Pinter Theatre

Jennifer Saunders returns to the West End, reprising her role as the highly eccentric clairvoyant Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit 18 months after it was forced to close before its opening night.

Our critic described the production as one “that brings joy, smiles, cheers and laughter from the full Harold Pinter Theatre auditorium” in their ★★★☆☆ review. Read it here.
Did other critics agree? Let’s take a look!

Critic Reviews:

 The Guardian  

It’s serviceable enough as a piece of heritage theatre, and features a fine turn from Jennifer Saunders as Arcati. Hers is a lovely physical performance, a batty symphony of girlish skips, birdlike distractedness and jolly little jigs to greet moments of spiritualist triumph: “Who could sit down at a moment like this?!” But around her, the production never settles – between hysterical farce, priggish pastiche or an unlikely late bid for emotional significance – on a tone that lets the whole thing make sense.

The Times (paywall)  

As Madame Arcati, the whiskery psychic in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, Jennifer Saunders is almost unrecognisable. She has been done up in tweedy knits and sensible shoes and her upper lip has been given a hint of five o’clock shadow… The moment she arrives, laughter. The audience reacts not just to Saunders’s natural comic presence, but also because here is a stereotype: the venomously whiffy, interfering old trout.

The Independent (paywall)  

Though the special effects are hit and miss and the pace drags at times, Richard Eyre’s production at the Harold Pinter theatre is worth the wait.

Blithe Spirit is at the Harold Pinter theatre, London, until 6 November.