Blithe spirit to Coward’s love triangle

Rachel Griffin/ Elvira and Dan Mooney, novelist and actor at the launch Photo: Brendan Gleeson

HAPPY Hallowe’en, College Players return to the stage with Noel Coward’s thrilling poke at death and marriage, ‘Blithe Spirit’. Book at for the guarantee of laughs and ghosts rippling this uppercrust British milieu, from November 13 to 17 at 8pm.

Written in the 1940s during the grim and grime of war years, Coward created this otherworldly chuckle that has us greeting the afterlife as both lover and threat. The blithe of spirit Elvira is one interruptive card, played with poise by Rachel Griffin.

Under the friezes of Tait House, her dad David Griffin, College Player actor and director, welcomed Mayor James Collins – reiterating commitment to arts and culture locally, Tait House’s chairman Cllr Jerry O’Dea, supporters and VIP Dan Mooney – on/off with the troupe – to launch news of this production.

Dave also confirmed an ongoing partnership between the restored Tait House on Collins Avenue  and College Players as well as the emergence of a small theatre on the grounds, behind the stony grey walls of the estate.

Director of ‘Blithe Spirit’ Jean McGlynn has done stage work almighty with College Players over the years, a notable comic in ‘Leading Ladies’, ‘One Man, Two Guvs’ and was a dramatic fledgling heroine in ‘Little Voice’

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Admiring College Players for “their fearlessness”, she told us that mid-WW2, Noel Coward “had given us this opportunity to laugh in the face of death. It is a classic love triangle story with the added twist that one third of the parties is deceased.

“Noel Coward can be regarded as a cross between Graham Norton and Willie Russell,” she commented, promising “a magnificent visual spectacle” from her design team led by Gerry Lombard and Mike Finneran and for costume, Gerdi McGlynn.

Busy writing his third novel, Dan Mooney came to push their show into the limelight. Last year’s majestic ‘Death of a Sales Man’ saw him fill Biff’s suits with a depth and patience that belied amateur status.

“What I treasure about College Players,” he said, speaking of their friendships, empathy and commitment, “is community. And with this partnership between them and Tait House, there will be even better opportunities for these two communities. Also for the storytelling and shared listening.”

He described what they have as “immeasurable”.

May we find so too at Lime Tree Theatre for this arch comedy with the ghost in one’s relationship.