Ballarat National Theatre

By turns funny and poignant, the play's London premiere was in 1999. In a home for retired opera singers. Each year the inhabitants put on a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday. Three of the current residents are wondering what they should perform, when a new resident arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva and refuses to sing. But the show must go on.......


Cecily Robson Wendy Holgate
Reginald Paget Peter Nethercote
Wilfred Bond Ellis Ebell
Jean Horton Margaret Jarvis


Set Construction Frank Lilley ably assisted by,
David Bradley, Ross Coleman, Fred Fargher,
Wendy Hall, Brydie Howell, Eddie Lawson
Tony McGuinness, Peter Nethercote, Matt Noble,
Josh Noble, Julian Oldfield, Megan Pinkerton
Ken Prato, Andrew Seeary
Foyer Yvonne Downing and BNT Members
Photography Helen Irving
Graphic Design Peter Freund
Sound David Bradley
Props Sarah Kernighan

Production Credits

Directed by Gabrielle Leeds
Designed by Julian Oldfield
Stage Manager Bruce Eldridge
Lighting Frank Hanrahan
Sound Set-Up Michael Zala


4some Baske2t
Ellis  M2
E Hump
Wendy  PN2
Wendy 2 Boys2


Reviewer - Gail Sjogren

In a Home for retired opera singers, four aging stars find themselves asked to perform their most famous quartet at a concert to celebrate Verdi's birthday. By turns very funny and equally poignant Quartet makes the most of this potentially explosive situation as the four singers show that age may have weakened them physically but it has not diminished their desire for the limelight or their ability to command an audience.
Quartet is directed by Gabrielle Leeds, well known for roles in many local productions as well as her film role in Dalkeith. The outstanding cast includes two of Ballarat’s best known actors in Wendy Holgate and Peter Nethercote, playing the dotty contralto and the artistic, highly strung tenor. They are joined by two equally talented newcomers to the Ballarat scene, Ellis Ebell as the raunchy and ever optimistic baritone and Margaret Jarvis as the domineering but ultimately touching soprano.

The intimate setting of the Courthouse Theatre is ideal for a play which takes us into the lives of four people whose indomitable spirit makes the best of growing older. Their dilemma, to reproduce their youthful success with voices no longer at their peak, is resolved in a manner which provides a triumphant conclusion to an excellent night's entertainment.