Operatic egos threaten the show

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Ronald Harwood’s popular play ‘Quartet’ returns to Halifax Playhouse with Kathryn Beverley, making a welcome return to Halifax Thespians, directing an experienced cast.

‘Quartet’ was first performed at the Arnaud Theatre, Guilford, prior to opening in the West End at the Albery Theatre in September 1999 starring Sir.Donald Sinden. It was later filmed, directed by Dustin Hoffman, with Maggie Smith in a starring role.

The play revolves around lifelong friends Wilf and Reggie, together with former colleague Cissy. They are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers.

Every year on Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, the residents unite to give a concert to raise funds for their home. But when Jean Horton, a former grande dame of the opera now fallen on hard times - and Reggie’s ex-wife - moves into the home, much to everyone’s surprise, the plans for this year’s concert start to unravel.

She is the fourth and most celebrated member of their former musical quartet and it isn’t long before old grudges are threatening to undermine past glories and theatrical temperaments play havoc with the rehearsal schedule. It soon becomes apparent that having four of the finest singers in English operatic history under one roof offers no guarantee that the show will go on! The cast includes Marion Reynolds, Brenda Chapel, Patrick Hibbin and Roy Byrom.

‘Quartet’ is at Halifax Playhouse from March 14 to 18 at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.