Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Playing the dirty old man is enormous fun

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.”

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