Henley Standard Property
HOME

Date:

Order your copy Advertise with us! HENLEY PAGES
Delivering the news from Henley on Thames and South Oxfordshire for over 100 years
  News     Sport    Celebrity   What's On Regulars Community Info Henley Standard TV Lifestyle Property Jobs Classifieds Gallery Trade
                               Follow us    Follow us    Newsfeed Search the Henley Standard  
Playing the dirty old man is enormous fun
Published 17/03/14



PLAYING the part of a lecherous old man in a nursing home was not something that musician Andy Marlow ever envisaged himself doing. But next week the classical guitarist will debut his comedy skills as Wilf in the Henley Players’ production of Quartet at the Kenton Theatre.

The play — about four retired opera stars limbering up for a production of Verdi’s Rigoletto — was a big hit at the cinema last year, with Billy Connolly playing Wilf.

Andy, from Nettlebed, says he has not seen the film, and has studiously avoided doing so since being cast in the role partly because the Scots comedian would be such a hard act to follow.

“The first 20 pages of the play is just a tour de force of innuendo, and to be honest I’ve been advised by a couple of people that I shouldn’t see the film,” he says. “They say I mustn’t be too influenced by Billy Connolly. I certainly won’t be putting on a Scots accent.

“It was just before Christmas when I had the audition, and I had long, wild hair like Billy Connolly. I hope the director Bill Bowder didn’t cast me for that reason, because since then I’ve chopped it all off.”


(At this point it is worth pointing out that, even though all his locks may be chopped off, Andy does bear a pretty impressive resemblance to the mad Scotsman.)

Andy, who plays with the English Guitar Quartet, and is a member of the re-formed Springfields alongside Mike Hurst, had not acted for many years until the role of Wemmick in last year’s Henley Players’ production of Great Expectations was thrust unexpectedly upon him.

He says: “Pip was played by my son, Toby, and my daughter Annabel was also in the play. I went to pick them up from rehearsals one night and the director, Jill Richardson, peered over her glasses and said, ‘do you act?’ I foolishly said ‘yes’.”

While playing the part of Wemmick he was talent-spotted by Bill Bowder, who snapped him up to play Wilf.But even though he is enjoying playing the comic role, he says there are also shades of sadness in his character.

“There are lots of very tender and moving moments, and it’s going to be quite a rollercoaster for the audience,” he says.

“I think Wilf is quite a sad individual. He’s actually had a long and happy marriage. He feels obliged to say all these sexually charged innuendos throughout the piece, but every now and again there’s a little moment of honesty. For instance, it’s interesting how shocked he is that he could ever have been unfaithful to his wife, Melissa. He’s a likeable character, and a lot of it is bravado.”

Last week Andy — whose wife Helma was a professional soprano — and the other three main characters were given a two-hour lesson in classical singing by Tim Yealland of English Touring Opera.

“It was absolutely stunning,” he says. “It just shows you what a different world it is when someone like Tim Yealland is sorting us out in a two-hour slot. I sing three-part harmony for every song for the Springfields, but this is so different.

“The day after that rehearsal I had an incredible pain in my ribs just because the breathing techniques are so different.”

•Quartet is at the Kenton Theatre from Wednesday, March 19 to Saturday, March 22. Box office (01491) 575698 or visit www.kenton threatre.co.uk

PUBLISHED 17/03/14



 
MOST POPULAR
Boat Race disaster almost made me quit
Russians order seizure of mansion
More frequent shuttle service welcomed
Could Roman temple be buried in woods?
Network Rail considers new gantries
Driven out by air pollution
School launch "Road to Rio" challenge
New Townlands turned me away
 
 
LATEST LIFESTYLE HEADLINES
Public will pick their favourites at Fawley
Our cleaning is tailored for you
Let us design your home at your home
Phyllis Court Club is the venue for auctioneers’ valuation day
Convenient parking and lots of products
Enjoy luxury care at our riverside retirement village
Riverfront lunch was an experience to treasure
Find out what rowing’s all about
Spring show puts petal to the metal
Excitement, exploration and discovery
Cultivating individual gifts
High standards yield outstanding results
Latest Video View more from   Henley Standard TV
ADVERTISE WITH US
LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Rail users given chance to voice concerns
Orange wigs highlight Anaphylaxis Campaign
£10 million building project at Business School
Gillotts rated “good” by Ofsted
Flotilla marks the start of Chelsea Fringe
Top Videos
 
Most Popular
 
 
 
 
Higgs Group
HIGGS GROUP
Tel: 01491 419400
www.higgsgroup.co.uk
HENLEY PAGES
Tel: 01491 419419
www.henleypages.com
HIGGS PRINTING & DESIGN
Tel: 01491 149429
www.higgsprinitng.co.uk
HIGGS OFFICE SUPPLIES
Tel: 01491 419499
www.higgsofficesupplies.co.uk
HENLEY LIFE MAGAZINE
Tel: 01491 419449
www.henleylife.co.uk
  HIGGS GROUP, Caxton House, 1 Station Road, Henley on Thames, Oxfordshire, RG9 1AD. Telephone (01491) 419400  
© Higgs & Co (Printing) Limited 2012  |  Registered in England number 1418717