34 Quartet by Ronald Harwood

Directed by Julia Webb

3-5th December, 2015, Felpham Village Hall

NODA ACCOLADE OF EXCELLENCE AWARD 2015

SYNOPSIS

Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred, all former opera singers, reside in a home for retired singers actors and musicians in Kent.

Each year, on the tenth of October, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday.

Jean, an opera diva, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives unexpectedly to live in the home and disrupts their equilibrium. Is there any chance that these four will ever sing together again?

The gala concert is imminent and all but Jean are keen to recreate the

third act quartet from Rigoletto.

The play eventually moves to an uncertain conclusion when they don costumes as the effects of old age in one of the performers takes hold.

CAST

Cecily RobsonGillian Lambourn
Reginald PagetPeter Green
Wilfred BondBernard Taylor
Jean HortonJenny Dean
Bobbie SwansonTrevor Roman

PRODUCTION

DirectorJulia Webb
Production & PromptSandy Knight
Production ManagerElaine Green
Stage ManagerJudy Roberts
Technical ManagerAlex Marner
PropsJudy Watts

The Regis Players
Quartet

Reviewed by: Jose Harrison on 5th December, 2015
Venue: Felpham Village Hall
Type of Production: Play
Director: Julia Webb

SHOW REPORT

This gem of a play was written by Ronald Harwood whose other works include “The Dresser”. His script is brilliant, portraying three elderly ‘Thespians’ residing in a home for retired actors and opera singers. When a fourth member moves into the establishment they immediately come up with the idea to perform the wonderful piece from Verdi’s ‘Rigoletto’ at the home’s annual birthday concert on the 10th October. All four characters are very different despite all being ‘Opera Buffs’ who were famous in their younger days and are all finding the ageing process difficult to accept. Each maintained their very different personalities throughout.

Bernard Taylor as Wilfred Bond was a rather lecherous old man who still liked to ogle the girls, pinch their bottoms and be generally over enthusiastic regarding the sexual interest of life but cleverly gave the impression that it is all a bit of a front being a widower having been happily married for many years. He now wobbles around dependant on a stick eyeing up every female in the building.

Peter Green as Reginald Paget portrayed his character to perfection as a man whose whole life has been about books, music and opera having made a disastrous mess of both love and marriage. He came over as a man on a mission to perform the famous ‘Quartet’ and the one least able to cope with old age and being cooped up in a Residential Home.

Gill Lambourn played Cecily Robson who was definitely ‘away with the fairies’ most of the time. Her performance was a joy to watch. She obviously has a very wide range of talent and must have spent much time studying the vagaries of the elderly whose memory is bad but memories are wonderful.

To complete the cast was Jennie Dean as Jean Horton a very unwilling new resident. Did she move there to be near her first husband? A marriage she obviously regretted but a divorce she seemed to regret even more. She portrayed many emotions all totally convincingly.

The opening Act in front of the curtains was a delight. It was a garden terrace cleverly set up with many plants and just enough furniture leaving space around to allow for ease of movement. Act two consisting of three scenes is set in the music room covering a four month period. All the scenes were good but the final one was outstanding. My congratulations to all the cast and to Julia Webb for her brilliant direction.

 

National Operatic and Dramatic Association
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Tel 01733 237 790 Fax 01733 237 286 Email Web www.noda.org.uk
Registered charity number 254640 Registered company number 241572 Registered in England and Wales at the above address
Patron: The Lord Lloyd Webber

Left to right Elaine Green – Chairman Regis Players, Jose Harrison – NODA Councilor District 9, Julia Webb – Director of Quartet