Jennifer Saunders on why we all need to get back on stage when she starred in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit | Ents & Arts News

Not even Noel Coward’s eccentric clairvoyant Madame Arcati could have predicted that theaters would stay dark for 18 months from the pandemic – but when Jennifer Saunders returns on stage in Blithe Spirit, she says her prediction must be that we have the show can resume the road.

Saunders told Sky News that the show has to go on for her and now it comes down to personal choice.

“It’s more dangerous for those who aren’t vaccinated,” she said. “If someone isn’t vaccinated, that’s their decision – I’m double vaccinated, wear a mask and wash my hands as often as possible and get tested regularly as I can imagine a lot of people do. The risk is on the unvaccinated, not with us, really. “

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Saunders says the role of Madame Arcati is a “delight”. Image: Nobby Clark

After productions like this latest version of Cowards play had to close in March 2020, the theater land with shows like Six and. a fair share of false starts Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Cinderella open only to close again because of COVID-19 and the so-called “Pingdemic”, which takes out casts.

But like many of her colleagues, Saunders – hugely popular for Absolutely Fabulous and French and Saunders, for which she received a BAFTA scholarship in 2009 – says that the focus should be on revitalizing the theater industry, even if risks cannot be completely ruled out.

“We have to look at each other, and when you project, you do … you know, air and saliva come out and all the rest,” she said. “But as a cast, we’re a bubble and we’re constantly being tested, so it feels very safe and comfortable.”

Your optimism for the future of the industry will be promoted by a world reorganization.

“I think it will come back – people go to tennis and soccer and everything and go to clubs and restaurants and the theater is no different. People just have to get used to it again. “

Saunders has been watching this role since she saw Margaret Rutherford in the film adaptation of Blithe Spirit, Saunders says the play – about a couple being persecuted by his ex-wife – despite its inception in 1941, stands due to the way it is written .

“Coward’s genius at writing dialogue – I mean, it just bubbles – and an arguing couple is as relevant now as it has ever been, and the arguments are the same,” she said. “And he’s so funny, and he’s so astute, and that’s why it’s fun to play because there really isn’t a duff line.”

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley
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Saunders says Absolutely Fabulous, which also starred Joanna Lumley, wouldn’t be filmed today because the comedy “turned out the way the modern world should”.

But while Coward’s material remains relevant, Saunders recently made headlines for to say that their own Absolutely Fabulous show wasn’t going to be done now.

The star accepts that her generation clashed with the old one when she burst onto the scene.

“I said it probably wouldn’t be done now because the sensitivity is different, and rightly so,” she said. “Each generation brings its own view of the world and its own sensitivities and certain sensitivities – just like we did when we started out as alternative comedians and we were seen as opponents of the old comedy.

“But to be honest, it just keeps moving, and it moves like the modern world should, and rightly so. We all adapt and we all move forward, you adapt and you can still be fun; it’s a modern way of thinking, a different world, different sensibilities, we’re probably kinder, you know. “

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Now she’s back on stage, Saunders says she just hopes everyone else comes back too.

“I just hope people get to the theater, and I hope when they come they protect themselves and others, you know, and theaters are doing everything possible to make that happen.

“It’s not just the theater that has been hit incredibly hard, but all of the businesses around it – all of the cafes and restaurants and everything that the theater makes possible has been hit so badly, the better for everyone in the West End and across the country.”

Blithe Spirit runs at London’s Harold Pinter Theater through November 6th

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