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REVIEW: Quartet at the Everyman Theatre


REVIEW: Quartet at the Everyman Theatre

Growing old gracefully? - Perhaps not in this laugh out loud comedy masterpiece. 

Quartet, written by Ronald Harwood is about four retired opera singers spending their twilight years in a residential home that caters for people with similar backgrounds. Cecily, Wilfred, Reginald and Jean are the retired members of an operatic quartet who achieved great success back in their day. 



Paul Nicholas plays 'naughty' Wilfred - defying his age and libido he still feels the same way he did when he was younger, continuing to have a roving eye for the ladies - and a bit more! Wilfred loves to tease Cecily especially when she is unaware. 



Wendi Peters is hilarious as Cecily, a woman with a colourful past who likes to know everything that is happening in the home, but sadly showing intermittent signs of dementia. 



Jean is played by Sue Holderness, the new 'inmate' at the home (asylum) and part of the original group, but there are mixed emotions on her arrival.  She has lots of regrets and sees her older self as an entirely different person from her younger successful self - with several husbands under her belt.

Jeff Rawle plays Reginald (Reggie) who was once married to Jean. But for how long and why did they split? He's certainly not happy about her arrival. This interferes with his otherwise fairly content existence. He likes to lead on orderly life and doesn’t like his routine interfered with - including having his breakfast marmalade substituted for apricot jam!
 
Coming together to live in the home provides great comedy moments as all four residents intend to make the most of their lives and re-kindle old friendships. Refusing to feel sorry for themselves they adopt the motto 'NSP'(no self pity). At times they appear to be regressing, almost turning into naughty teenagers as they race for dinner (before the mash gets cold), letch at the gardener and hurl abuse at the staff!  



The Quartet are asked to perform for the birthday celebration of the composer Giuseppe Verdi. This request is easier said than done, but a plan is hatched and preparations get underway. Will the group bond together and recapture something of their past or will secrets from their past catch up with them? 



Quartet is a lot of fun and all four actors are superb. Throughout the play we grow to know and love each character on their individual merits with the finale the icing on the cake to this fabulous show. 


This home grown Everyman Production is off on tour after its final performance in Cheltenham on Saturday 17 February.  We wish them well - Quartet provides a great evening out. 


Explore Gloucestershire  
14 February 2018


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