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Thorold Community Theatre to summon spirits with new show

For their fall season, Thorold Community Theatre is putting on a rendition of Noël Coward's 'Blithe Spirit'; 'It involves quite a few elements of magic so it’s been a lot of fun to create [those]'

Thorold Community Theatre has been working hard to get its fall show ready for a November premiere. This season, the theatre troupe is putting on a rendition of Noël Coward’s ‘Blithe Spirit,' directed by Thorold resident Mary Ann O'Neill Park.

“This is a play that’s been very close to my heart since I was six years old,” O’Neill Park tells ThoroldToday. “I remember my father telling me the story of 'Blithe Spirit' and then I was probably about ten when I actually found the script. It’s always been one of my favourite plays. Anytime I was doing any acting workshops, I was always pulling excerpts from ‘Blithe Spirit.’”

'Blithe Spirit' tells the story of a novelist Charles Condomine, who invites a medium to his home for a séance, hoping to gather material for a new book. When the hapless psychic accidentally summons the spirit of Condomine’s late wife Elvira, his home and life are quickly turned into a shambles as his wife’s ghost torments both himself and his new bride, Ruth.

Because the play features spirits, there will be a lot of practical effects incorporated into the show.

“We’re doing a lot of really fun things,” O’Neill Park says. “It involves quite a few elements of magic so it’s been a lot of fun to create things, like doors opening and closing by themselves, and books flying out of book shelves, and pictures spinning around on the wall. All kinds of unique little special effects happen.”

To get the show ready, the theatre troupe is in full-on rehearsal mode.

“Rehearsals are going very well,” says O’Neill Park. “We’re almost finished. Everybody has to be off-book by Sunday and that’s when we start bringing all the props and all the fun things. We have our first run through on Sunday.”

This is the second in-person show the Thorold Community Theatre is putting on since the pandemic started.

“COVID created so much isolation,” O’Neill Park says. “The opportunity to get out into the community is huge. Being able to do a show is so exciting. Everybody is just right over the moon being able to do this again.”

One thing is for certain: O’Neill Park can’t wait for Thorold to see the show.

“One of the neat elements is the magic and mayhem,” she says. “It’s been a lot of hard work. Congratulations to all the people who have pushed hard for this one because there are a lot of tricky elements and they’re doing a spectacular job. I think it’s going to be an absolute ball.”

Thorold Community Theatre will be performing ‘Blithe Spirit’ between Friday, November 18 and Sunday, December 4. Tickets are $20 and can be bought here.

Full list of performance dates:

  • Friday November 18th at 8:00PM
  • Saturday November 19th at 8:00PM
  • Sunday November 20th at 2:00PM
  • Friday November 25th at 8:00PM
  • Saturday November 26th at 8:00PM
  • Sunday November 27th at 2:00PM
  • Friday December 2nd at 8:00PM
  • Saturday December 3rd at 8:00PM
  • Sunday December 4th at 2:00PM

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Bernard Lansbergen

About the Author: Bernard Lansbergen

Bernard was born and raised in Belgium but moved to Canada in 2012 and has lived in Niagara since 2020. Bernard loves telling people’s stories and wants to get to know those that make Thorold into the great place it is
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