Our newsletter editor recently interviewed Andrew Knight – the director of our upcoming show – Quartet.
Tell us about the plot of Quartet
The play is set in a home for retired opera singers. Every year on 10th October A concert is given to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. The Play starts with Cecily, Reginald, and Wilfred starting to talk about the pending anniversary.
A new Resident, Jean, who once was married to Reggie, joins them. Old wounds soon become alive again, and it is clear that there is some unfinished business between the couple.
When Jean later learns that she will be singing in the concert with Reggie,Wilfred and Cecily reprising the Quartet from Rigoletto, which they did many years ago, she refuses to sing. Jean was always a diva and nothing has changed.
They soon find out the real reason why she doesn’t want to sing. It’s up to the others to try and convince Jean that the show must go on.
Quartet has some very funny moments but it is also very poignant and is guaranteed to touch hearts.
What do you know about the author?
Quartet is by the same author who wrote the Dresser – Ronald Harwood. I would say that this is his best play. The Dresser of course is very famous and is his most popular and centres around a veteran actor, and deals with the challenges of life in later years and relationships. Quartet follows a similar trait, but centres around 4 veteran opera singers and challenges you face when you’re getting old. It is lovely writing, very Poignant and funny. The Film is fairly well-known.
Is your production going to be similar to the film or have you interpreted differently?
The production is going to be very different to the film, it is also quite hard to make it a copy as the film had a very large cast and we have a cast of four. I personally feel the stage play works better than the film, in the play you can delve more deeply into the great characters.
Who is your cast, and do they have to be singers?
My wonderful cast is Brian Baxter who is playing Reggie. Liz Dowling who is playing Cissy. Guy Peskin playing Wilf, and Wendy Ash who is playing Jean. Do they have to be singers? I am not going to say any more as you will have to do a spoiler alert.
Music is obviously an important element of the play, how are you planning to incorporate it into the production…..live music?
The Music is naturally operatic, including any incidental music we have. No live music (well maybe a little). We do have a piano on set which is played slightly (no recording required). I also have Clive Swan as my musical supervisor, who is taking the cast through their paces for the Quartet. This will be a finale to end all finales.
Why should we all flock to see Quartet?
This is very different from anything KLP has done before, and challenging for all concerned. It’s poignant, funny, and entertaining. I have a very talented group of actors who bring so much to every rehearsal, and we are all very passionate about the play and that comes through at rehearsal and will carry through to the performance for sure.
So tell your friends/ buy those tickets this will be one evening out you will not want to miss.