Directors Blog - by Ian Harrop

A visit to the theatre can transport you into all sorts of magical places from an undersea world to a castle from Shakespeare. While the Little Theatre in Te Aroha, like most theatres, has skilled people creating scenery and effects to take you there, occasionally a production requires the real thing and the props department, as well-stocked as it is, simply can’t meet the demands of a fussy director.

I know, because I’m a fussy director and for my next production I need a good quality free-standing, wooden mirror and a large, old-fashioned wicker laundry/theatrical  basket which, alas we don’t have.  If anyone has either of those items and would be prepared to allow us to use them I can assure them they would be treated with the greatest respect and returned immediately following the conclusion of the production.  They might even score a couple of complementary tickets for what promises to be an outstanding quality play.  

Quartet, gives us a snapshot of life in a retirement home for retired musicians and singers and focusses on the four members of a noted quartet that found prominence in their performance of Rigoletto. Each provides us with a different perspective on life after fame (albeit brief) and opens our eyes to life for those who have become institutionalised. It’s a warm, touching comedy that will make you laugh, make you sigh and even make you cry.

The title and theme may sound familiar to some people, probably because Dustin Hoffman saw the original hit production in the West End and rushed back to Hollywood to direct the movie version. But, dare I say it, the stage version still retains an intensity the movie version lacks with its compelling focus on the individuals and their lives.

Currently in rehearsals, Quartet, starring Paul Power, Sandra Clark, Anthony Gray and Jocelyn Legg, opens on April 7 for a two-week season. Watch out for bookings opening. 


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