Henshall will play Elvira, the spirit of the title, in a cast that also features, as previously reported, Alison Steadman, Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris. Charles Condomine (Bathurst) and his second wife Ruth (Norris) hold a séance so that he can learn the tricks of the trade as research for his new novel. What begins as after-dinner entertainment becomes a life-changing experience when the eccentric medium Madame Arcati (Steadman) inadvertently conjures up the ghost of Charles’ first wife Elvira (Henshall), who’s determined to win him back.
Henshall is best known to theatregoers for her musical credits including Marguerite, Chicago, Peggy Sue Got Married, Oliver!, Cats and She Loves Me, for which she won the Olivier for Best Actress in a Musical in 1995. Her TV credits have included Dancing on Ice, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Law and Order.
Prior to the West End, Blithe Spirit opens this at the Theatre Royal Bath, from 3 to 13 November, and then tours to Brighton, Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Richmond.
In other recent play casting news: