GET ready to laugh, sigh and cry a little as four retired opera singers take you into the bittersweet world of facing up to age and mortality.
Written by Ronald Harwood and directed by Gwen Browning at Limelight Theatre, Quartet is set in an aged care home with Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred ready to celebrate Verdi’s birthday with an annual concert.
Reggie’s ex-wife Jean arrives and upsets the balance, continuing to act like a diva and refusing to sing – but the show must go on.
In 2012, a film adaptation was directed by Dustin Hoffman and starred Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay.
“I loved the film,” Browning said. “For those of us in their 60s and above, the situation and state the characters are in is all too familiar.
“I felt the play would appeal to our more mature patrons while also providing a good laugh for everyone.”
Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Browning has performed – as she puts it – in “too many productions to remember”.
She was named best actress at Limelight Theatre in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2006, also scoring the accolade at the 1995 State Drama Festival.
Browning has directed the plays Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Life x 3 and Talking Heads, winner of best production in 2012.
The main challenge with Quartet, she says, is working with a cast of only four.
“It goes without saying that a group of strong actors is essential,” Browning said.
“The actors must also be able to bounce off each other and work well as an ensemble.”
Quartet plays at 8pm April 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 with a 2pm matinee April 11. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or on 0499 954 016.
Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.