Blithe Spirit

(Softly) Ruth!--Elvira!--are you there?

Charles Condomine

Blithe Spirit

See more monologues from Noël Coward



Basics

Character
Gender
Age Range
Style
Scene
Act Three, Scene Two
Time & Place
Kent, England, 1940s
Length
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Charles has finally got rid of the ghosts of both of his deceased wives. Madame Arcati has returned

Monologue Text

(Softly) Ruth!--Elvira!--are you there? (A pause) Ruth!--Elvira!--I know damn well you’re there. (Another pause) I just want to tell you that I’m going away, so there’s no point in your hanging about any longer--I’m going a long way away--somewhere where I don’t believe you’ll be able to follow me--in spite of what Elvira said I don’t think spirits can travel over water. Is that quite clear, my darlings? You said in one of your more acid moments, Ruth, that I had been hag-ridden all my life! How right you were! But now I’m free, Ruth dear, not only of Mother and Elvira and Mrs. Winthrop-Llewellyn, but free of you too, and I should like to take this farewell opportunity of saying I’m enjoying it immensely-- (The vase on the mantelpiece falls on to the hearth-stone and smashes) Aha!--I thought so--you were very silly, Elvira to imagine that I didn’t know all about you and Captain Bracegirdle. I did. But what you didn’t know was that I was extremely attached to Paula Westlake at the time! (The picture above the piano crashes to the ground) I was reasonably faithful to you Ruth, but I doubt if it would have lasted much longer. You were becoming increasingly domineering, you know, and there’s nothing more off-putting than that, is there? (The clock strikes sixteen very quickly) Goodbye for the moment, my dears! I expect we are bound to meet again one day, but until we do I’m going to enjoy myself as I’ve never enjoyed myself before. (A soft cushion is thrown up into the air towards Charles from behind the sofa) You can break up the house as much as you like--I’m leaving it anyhow. Think kindly of me, and send out good thoughts. (The curtains are pulled up and down, the gramophone lid opens and shuts. The overmantel begins to shake and tremble as though someone were tugging at it) Nice work, Ruth--get Elvira to help you...persevere! (A figure from above the bookshelves falls off on to the floor) Goodbye! Parting is such sweet sorrow!

Noel Coward. Blithe Spirit. Samuel French Acting Edition. London: 1941. p.77.




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