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High Spirits


Book, Music & Lyrics by Timothy Gray & Hugh Martin
Based on the play Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward 

Alvin Theatre, Broadway - 7 April, 1964 (375 perfs)
Savoy Theatre, London - September, 1964 (93 perfs)


Charles Condomine, a writer, stages a séance conducted by a medium who lives locally. His intention is to learn the medium's "tricks" which he is certain to prove its only real substance. He plans to use the information gained to use in his new novel.

Instead the medium, Madame Acarti, falls into a trance during which the apparition of Charles' late wife, Elvira appears to him. She does not, however, appear to the other participants at the séance, Charles' new wife, Ruth, and their mutual friends, Doctor and Mrs Bradman.

At first Ruth believes Charles is joking about Elvira's visitation. However, Elvira moves into the Condomine household and proves her presence to Ruth by pranks, such as knocking over furniture. It slowly emerges, through a series of bogus accidents, that Elvira is trying to kill Charles so that he can join her "on the other side". Instead, she mistakenly kills Ruth and the ghosts of the two women alternately bicker and nag Charles until he is driven to dematerialise both of them.

Madam Acarti once more comes to Charles' aid by discovering that the Condomine's maid, Edith, has unconsciously raised Elvira's ghost. Edith is hypnotised and, under Mme Acarti's guidance, dematerialises both ghosts. Free of being henpecked for the first time in his adult life, Charles leaves to travel abroad. Poster Detail

Musical Numbers:

  1. The Bicycle Song
  2. The Exorcism (instrumental)
  3. Faster Than Sound
  4. Forever and a Day
  5. Go Into Your Trance
  6. Home Sweet Heaven
  7. I Know Your Heart
  8. If I Gave You
  9. I've Never Had A Manifestation
  10. Nothing Ever Happens In London
  11. The Sandwich Man
  12. The Society
  13. Something Is Coming To Tea
  14. Something Tells Me
  15. Talking To You
  16. Was She Prettier Than I?
  17. What In The World Did You Want?
  18. Where Is the Man I Married
  19. You'd Better Love Me