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Friday, January 22, 2021

On love, friendships and ageing

Newcastle Theatre Company’s latest play, Quartet, challenges perceptions about age, status and identity.

While some might be familiar with the 2012 film by the same name, directed by Dustin Hoffman and starring Billy Connolly, NTC president and actress Claire Williams says the play is a little different – in a good way.

“It has some universal themes; things we’re all concerned about – work and love and friendships,” she says.

The gentle comedy follows the story of four retired opera singers who live together in a retirement home in Kent, United Kingdom.

Everything changes when the fourth resident, Jean Horton (played by Williams herself), joins Cecily “Cissy” Robson (Lynda Rennie), Wilfred

“Wilf” Bond (Noel Grivas), and Reginald “Reggie” Pagett (Lindsay Carr), disrupting their equilibrium.

When downright diva Jean’s wealthy (or so she thought) husband dies, she discovers their riches were merely an illusion, and she winds up at the retirement home on charity.

Still, the show must go on.

Quartet gives audience members young and old insight into the frustrations, pathos, humour and joy of ageing.

“We live in a society that venerates youth and too often disregards older people, yet one of the joys of the arts is that it allows people of all ages to be actively involved – as performers, writers, critics, backstage or in support roles,” director Brian Wark adds.

The play opens at Newcastle Theatre Company, Lambton, on Saturday 19 January and runs until Saturday 2 February.

And, for the first time, the community can enjoy a preview performance on Friday 18 January, with all tickets $25.

Phone 4952 4958 or book online at newcastletheatrecompany.com.au

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