Quartet | Tour
Theatre Royal Brighton until 31st March 2018
Mark Goucher, who is bedding in as the new Chief Executive at Cheltenham Everyman as well as running Mark Goucher Productions in the West End, has kick-started his strategy to improve theatre touring productions by launching with Quartet written by Ronald Harwood and co-produced by internationally known David Ian.
Quartet is set in a Kent country house retirement home for opera singers and looks at the boredom of growing old and the question of art. The residents try to remain loyal to their motto NSP (No Self Pity) but at times struggle as they cope with their own demons.
The play is well cast with familiar well-known actors to add weight to the production. Three of the residents –dotty mezzo Cecily slowly drifting into dementia (Wendi Peters), rascally cheeky Wilfred (Paul Nicholas) and fastidious but occasionally volatile tenor Reggie (Jeff Rawle) – are thrown into disarray by the unexpected arrival of celebrated soprano Jean (Sue Holderness), formerly disastrously married to Reg and still acting like a diva although now broke and fallen from glory.
Enthused by her arrival, they agree to perform the famous quartet from Verdi`s Rigoletto for one last time at the residents concert to celebrate the composer’s birthday. Will they be able to resurrect their former performance levels ? Can they find a way to combine their past and present which will celebrate both ?
The play is suited for the older generation who can relate to the comedic one-liners balanced with the fragility and pathos of the ageing process. People will remember the successful Quartet film of 2013 and off the popularity of recent similar tv and film storylines should have great appeal.
Reviewer: Sandra Jenkins
☆ ☆ ☆
Quartet is playing at the Theatre Royal Brighton until 31st March Tickets Here