The season’s theatre performances have brought local and international productions to the island thanks to annual festivals and theatre companies. As usual, the majority are in Greek but later this month a series of theatre nights comes in English. Time to lift the curtain as the theatre-loving audience of Paphos is in for a treat!
Stage One Theatre in Emba, Paphos is busy preparing a new production that will premiere on Thursday. To mark a new season of local theatre, Stage One brings an adaptation of Ronald Harwood’s play Quartet, directed by Fiona Greavey. “The comfortable theatre in Emba,” say organisers, “is no longer dark but back in the business of presenting entertainment to its many supporters and ready to welcome new friends to the world of live theatre.”
Comic, heartwarming and moving, Quartet is about elderly opera singers who live together in a retirement home. Saucy humour and relatable anecdotes describe the play as it touches on growing old and a love for the arts. The 1999 play spreads messages of hope and aims to show that older people still have a zest for life and still have the same desires, needs and worries as they did when they were young.
The story centres on three old friends: Cecily, Reg and Wilfred, who were quite famous in the opera world in their day, and are now enjoying their retirement, joking and reminiscing. They are also looking forward to October 10, Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi’s birthday, when the centre will be having a concert in which the three will perform together. However, their peace is shattered with the arrival of Jean, an old friend and a major star in her day to whom Reginald was unhappily married.
Following a successful run in the West End, Quartet went on to be adapted as a film by Harwood himself in 2012. Directed by Dustin Hoffman, the film’s principal cast included Maggie Smith as Jean, Tom Courtenay as Reg, Pauline Collins as Cissy and Billy Connolly as Wilfred. Now, it is arriving in Paphos for six performances.
September 29, 30 and October 1, 6, 7 and 8 will see Stage One theatre fill with the laughter and tears that Quartet brings as it follows the not-so-quiet lives of four friends in a retirement home. Song, gossip, old vendettas and crushes come back to life, making the adventures of the ageing opera singers surprisingly relatable to all.
Play by Ronald Harwood. Directed by Fiona Greavey. September 29, 30 and October 1, 6, 7. Stage One Theatre, Emba, Paphos. 7.30pm. €12. In English. [email protected]. Tel: 99-967737