Playing the main roles of Gillian Holroyd and Tony Henderson in Bell, Book And Candle are Nicola Ellis and Alistair Dodd.
Playing the main roles of Gillian Holroyd and Tony Henderson in Bell, Book And Candle are Nicola Ellis and Alistair Dodd.

A comedy of manners from a more gentle age is the next production by Southwell Theatre Club.

Bell, Book And Candle was written by English playwright and director John Van Druten in 1948, but remained unpublished until 1950.

The play centres around the interaction and relationships between a witch, Gillian, her magical family, and the mortals they live among.

Gillian longs for a more normal life but in trying to achieve this finds life, especially one guided by magic, can throw all sorts of difficulties in one’s path.

The title refers to the ritual of ex-communication, which banishes wrongdoers from the Latin Christian church. At the end of the ceremony a bell is rung, a holy book, usually a Bible, is closed and a candle is snuffed out. The sinner is then an outcast from the Church and cannot enter heaven.

In the context of the play, this refers to Gillian’s decision as to whether or not she renounces irrevocably her magical powers.

Bell, Book And Candle, directed by Richard O’Malia, runs from a week today to Saturday, May 6, at 7.30pm at Southwell Library.

Tickets costing £8 are available from the  library on 01636 812148, at the door, or from the Southwell Theatre Club