Hilarious QUARTET Presented by The Actors’NET

by Wren Workman

QUARTET by The Actors’ NET of Bucks County is an amazing little gem of a show. The laughs start early, and continue on through most the show. Even when the show is depicting moments of sadness, they are presented in a way in which it is a sadness that can be laughed at.

QUARTET is about former opera singers living together in a retirement home in England. Three opera singers, who had performed together once many years ago , when a situation happens that stirs up their lives once again. Cecily “Cissy” Robson, Reginald Paget, Wilfred Bond, and Jean Horton were all once shining stars in their youths and they cling in varying degrees to those high flying moments. The plot of the show itself is fairly predictable for theater veterans, however where QUARTET shines brightest is in its very strong, very witty writing and acting. Small cast shows tend to be fewer and further between but Actors’NET’s intimate location makes it an ideal venue for this type of show.

Cecily “Cissy” Robson (Cheryl Doyle) has an almost childlike exuberance and appeal, possibly because she has more than a touch of dementia. Cissy never married though she apparently led a very exciting life in her youth. She is well loved by her friends, and they do their best to protect her. Doyle plays this part perfectly and really pulls you as an audience member into the show.

Retired opera singer Cissy Robson (Cheryl Doyle, right) reports on the progress of Verdi’s Birthday Gala to fellow retirees Reggie Paget (Ross Drucker, left) and Wilfred Bond (Doug Kline, center) in Ronald Harwood’s funny and moving play, QUARTET.

Reginald Paget (Ross Druker) is the epitome of the proper, tightly-wound Englishman, prone to poetic speeches and always making sure he takes care of himself. During those brief moments where his leash comes a little loose, he is hilariously offensive. Druker really makes this role his own, every moment he is on stage he keeps up the persona perfectly never wavering in his character’s mannerisms.

Wilfred Bond (Doug Kline) is the devoted friend of Cissy and Reginald and the dirtiest old man on the planet. The first scene cements him as both a vulgar man as it does as painting him as his own type of hopeless romantic. Kline plays Wilfred with abandon and very heartily shows the lust for life that his character needs to have. I would be happy to make any of these characters as friends, but Kline’s interpretation of Wilfred was the one I found myself wishing the most to be a real person.

Jean Horton (Theresa Swartz) is the upstart. An older woman who has been married many times, and possibly only once for love. She was the one whose star shined brightest in her youth, but also proved that the flame that burns brightest often burns half as long. Swartz does an excellent job of making her character endearing to the audience.

If you’re a fan of opera, a fan of witty comedies or  simply want to have a fun night out laughing at people who seem like they could have been your life long friends, make time to see QUARTET; you won’t pity yourself if you do.

by Ronald Harwood
Directed by David Swartz
October 25 – November 10, 2013
The Actors’ NET of Bucks County
at The Heritage Center Theatre
635 North Delmorr Avenue (Route 32),
Morrisville, PA

Reservations at 215-295-3694 or actorsnet@aol.com


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