Maple Ridge actor stars in spirited comedy

Stefania Wheelhouse as Edith the Maid; Ben Odberg as Charles Condomine ; Annabel Kershaw as Madame Arcati;  Tych as Ruth Condomine and Cherise Clark as Elvira in a scene from Blithe Spirit. - Beverly Malcom/Contributed
Stefania Wheelhouse as Edith the Maid; Ben Odberg as Charles Condomine ; Annabel Kershaw as Madame Arcati; Tych as Ruth Condomine and Cherise Clark as Elvira in a scene from Blithe Spirit.
— image credit: Beverly Malcom/Contributed

Maple Ridge actor Ben Odberg is set to take to the stage again in White Rock as the lead actor in Peninsula Productions presentation of Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit.

This is Odberg third production in a row with Peninsula Productions.  Last summer, he played the lead in their world premiere of Ken Ludwig’s The Games Afoot.  He then took to the stage in their critical smash hit Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden.

“Ben is a director's dream” says Wendy Bollard, the show’s director.  “He is incredibly talented and works hard. I couldn’t ask for better.”

Set in an English Country house, Blithe Spirit centres on socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, (played by Odberg) who cheekily engages a medium, Madame Arcati, to conduct a séance hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his temperamental first wife, Elvira, much to the chagrin of his current wife, Ruth. Trying to keep both women happy may prove to be too much for Charles.

This summers production of Blithe Spirit is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Peninsula Productions have engaged Annabel Kershaw to play Madame Arcati and Cherise Clarke to play Elvira.  Kershaw has graced the stages at the Arts Club, the Vancouver Playhouse, the Gateway Theatre and is the recipient of two Jessie awards for best actor.  Clarke has worked with the Arts Club, Blackbird Theatre, Neworld Theatre and has performed in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever under the direction of Nicola Cavendish.

Also featured is Lori Tych who plays Charles and Ruth Condomine, Sheila Reader-Romo, and Andrew Wood as the Bradmans and newcomer Stefania Wheelhouse as Edith, the hapless maid.

When Blithe Spirit premiered in London’s West End in July of 1941, Coward at first came under critical attack for making light of death as the Second World War raged on; however, theatre goers welcomed the comic relief, and it was a huge hit with 1,997 performances.  Since then it has played to the delight of audiences all over the world.

• Blithe Spirit runs until July 26 at the Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Road in White Rock. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students or seniors. For tickets, call- 604-536-7535 or visit www.peninsulaproductions.org.

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