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Stafford Players go for laughs to close anniversary season

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: May 04, 2014

Stafford Players go for laughs to close anniversary season

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STAFFORD Players will bring the curtain down on their 70th anniversary season by bringing the house down with a comedy.

Quartet, written by Ronald Harwood, was made into a film in 2012 which gave Dustin Hoffman his directorial debut and starred Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Maggie Smith, who was nominated for a Golden Globe

The play was first performed at London's Albery Theatre in 1999 and deals with a group of performers facing the trauma of moving into a retirement home.

Lifelong friends Wilf and Reggie, together with former colleague Cissy, are residents of Beecham House, a home for retired opera singers.

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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 fallen on hard times, also Reggie's ex-wife and the fourth and most celebrated member of their former quartet, moves into the home to everyone's surprise, the plans for this year's concert start to unravel.

Jean, still acting like a diva, refuses to sing in the concert but the show must go on.

Keith Minshull and Denise Arthur, who play Wilfred and Jean, will be familiar faces to Players' fans.

Both have won acting awards in previous company productions. Many will remember Keith's performance as the father in Proof last year which earned him a best actor award.

The other two members of the cast, Peter Carrington-Porter and Jane Fosbrook, will be better known to theatregoers in and around Wolverhampton having been involved with Studio 61 for many years.

Quartet in the Malcolm Edwards Theatre at Stafford's Gatehouse from Tuesday, May 13 to Saturday May 17.Performances begin at 7.30pm and tickets are £8.50(£7.50 concessions) from the Gatehouse Box Office 01785 254653 or www.staffordgatehousetheatre.co.uk. the play does contain mild swearing and mild adult themes.

New members are always welcome so anyone who wants to act, direct, work backstage or sponsor the Players should see www.staffordplayers.co.uk.

Next season's plays will be staged in November, February and May, all in the Met Studio.

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