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Quartet at Limelight Theatre - Postponed

Home > Perth > Community Theatre | Performing Arts | Theatre
Published March 8th 2020
Update March 18th 2020
It is with great regret that the committee of Wanneroo Repertory Inc at the Limelight Theatre has decided that, in the best interests of health and safety within our organisation and the greater community, we are postponing our upcoming production of “Quartet”.

Quartet hits the right note: equal parts poignancy & comedy
Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
Four retired opera singers – played by Gino Cataldo, left, Susan Marsh and Susan Vincent and Chris Juckes, at front – face up to mortality in Quartet.


Get ready to laugh, sigh and cry a little as four retired opera singers take you into the bittersweet world of facing up to age and mortality. Written by Ronald Harwood and directed by Gwen Browning at Limelight Theatre, Quartet is set in an aged care home with Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred ready to celebrate Verdi's birthday with an annual concert.

Reggie's ex-wife Jean arrives and upsets the balance, continuing to act like a diva and refusing to sing – but the show must go on. In 2012, a film adaptation was directed by Dustin Hoffman and starred Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins and Tom Courtenay.

Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
Susan Marsh, left, Chris Juckes, Gino Cataldo and Susan Vincent play retired opera singers in Quartet.

"I loved the film," Gwen said. "For those of us in their 60s and above, the situation and state the characters are in is all too familiar. I felt the play would appeal to our more mature patrons while also providing a good laugh for everyone."

Involved with Limelight Theatre since 1983, Gwen has performed – as she puts it – in "too many productions to remember". She was named best actress at Limelight Theatre in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2006, also scoring the accolade at the 1995 State Drama Festival.

Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
Susan Marsh, left, as Jean and Chris Juckes as Reggie share a moment in the show.


Gwen has directed the plays Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Life x 3 and Talking Heads, winner of best production in 2012. The main challenge with Quartet, she says, is working with a cast of only four.

"It goes without saying that a group of strong actors is essential," Gwen said. "The actors must also be able to bounce off each other and work well as an ensemble."

Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
Cecily (Susan Vincent, left) and Wilfred (Gino Cataldo) share a laugh in Quartet.


Susan Vincent plays Cecily, often referred to as "Cissy", who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. "She has memory lapses and vague confusion episodes but always sees the good in people and previously had lots of enthusiasm for life," she said.

"Cissy was a famous contralto and loved singing in the opera – in her youth, she was beautiful and sexy and greatly admired by men. She had many lovers but never married or had children and remains a kind, caring person who is fun-loving and very sweet. It's a challenging role, in terms of keeping the energy and exuberance up, and memorising the Italian lyrics as well as the script."

Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
Four retired opera singers – played by Gino Cataldo, left, Susan Marsh and Susan Vincent and Chris Juckes, at front – face up to mortality in Quartet.


A professionally trained actress and singer from the UK, Susan trained at the Carona London Stage School and was a pop singer in the 1960s, recording three singles on the Decca label. She came to WA in 1974 to work for Frank Baden Powell at his old-time music hall and then had an 11-year stint with the WA Opera Company before moving to Kalgoorlie where she worked for ABC radio and a local television station.

Over the years, Susan has acted, directed, stage-managed and worked on sets for the Graduate Dramatic Society, Playlovers, Goldfields Repertory and the Old Mill, Bindoon, Melville, Stirling, Limelight, Marloo and Garrick Theatres. With many awards for acting and directing, she was named best actress in a musical for her role in Blitz! in 2017, also scoring a Finley Award nomination.

Quartet, Limelight Theatre, performing arts, opera singers, comedy, Dustin Hoffman, Billy Connolly, Maggie Smith, Pauline Collins, Tom Courtenay
In Quartet, the show must go on for Reggie (Chris Juckes, left), Jean (Susan Marsh), Cecily (Susan Vincent) and Wilfred (Gino Cataldo), despite being retired.


Most recently, Susan's production of Caught in the Net swept the Limelight Theatre awards and she directed the award-winning musical Cocky's Crossing at Garrick Theatre. "Given my background in the WA Opera Company, miming from Rigoletto at the end of Quartet I found greatly appealing," she said. "Sue Marsh, who plays Jean, and I first performed together 30 years ago in Sweeney Todd and it's lovely to work with her again."

Quartet plays at 8pm April 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17 and 18 with a 2pm matinee April 11. Tickets are $21, $18 concession – book at www.limelighttheatre.com.au or on 0499 954 016. Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.


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Why? It’s a play full of unexpected shifts of emotion and will make you feel happy, sad, compassionate and thoughtful, leaving audiences with the uplifting realisation that, although the body might be fading, the spirit never dies.
When: 8pm April 8, 9, 11, 15, 16, 17 & 18; 2pm April 11
Phone: 0499 954 016
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo
Cost: $21, $18 concession
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