Presented by Adelaide Repertory Theatre
Reviewed 9 April 2015
Three retired opera singers are brought together in a retirement home for those who previously worked as musicians. Here they are joined by an old Diva and it quickly becomes apparent that some are less happy to be there than others. The home celebrates the annual birthday of Joe Green (Verdi) with an annual concert, and these very distinguished residents realise they are expected to be the headline act.
Quartet, directed by Sue Wiley and assisted by Ian Rigney, is a quirky and sometimes very bawdy comedy that explores the frustration and fears of getting old. Written by Ronald Harwood, Quartet finds some beautiful moments to cherish and celebrate on the way to age acceptance.
Brian Knott has all the dirty lines as the sex starved Wilfred Bond. Knott brings great character and bawdiness to the role and helps keep the pace and energy up for the rest of the play. The Theatre Review: Quartet object of his smutty affection is the positive and effervescent Cecily played by Julie Quick. Quartet also features Russell Starke who is suitably both stuffy and sensitive as Reginald Paget, while Jean Walker plays the cranky and pretentious Jean Horton.
The set design by Vinnie Eustice worked well and was nicely dressed and painted by Cathy and Paul Reid.
The pace from the cast is excellent, however the play occasionally moves a little slowly and is at times very smutty. But this certainly appealed to the older Adelaide Repertory audience who seemed to find a little too much truth in the characters frustrated rants about the decline of their bodies.
Quartet highlights options for spending your final years. You can bemoan the decline of your health and mind or you can embrace a celebration of the wonderful life that has passed with passion and gusto.
Reviewed by Ceri Horner
Venue: Arts Theatre 53 Angas Street, Adelaide
Season: 9 – 18 April 2015
Duration: 2.5 hours including interval
Tickets: $17.00 – $22.00