Raucous comedy raises the curtain for Company of Ten at Abbey Theatre in St Albans

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

When five women are bequeathed a rundown theatre by a common acquaintance, they have to overcome any difficulties – and their differences – to make the inheritance work for them.

But when these ladies are an assortment of family, friends and arch-enemies, you know trouble is in store.

This is the premise of Peter Quilter’s comedy, Curtain Up!, which can be seen at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Company of Ten rehearsals for Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter.

Company of Ten rehearsing for Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

It’s the stuff of sitcoms, with the requisite collection of hilarious characters.

There’s the eternally optimistic Theresa, hoping to make the theatre a success as compensation for her father’s death.

There’s mum Pam, a woman scorned, who demonstrates her bitterness with some particularly acerbic barbs.

Then there’s chirpy dieter Sharon, who is lively but none too bright, glamorous Jackie, a suitable foil for Pam, and Betty, Pam’s mother-in-law, the lady with the pithy one-liners.

i-hFBS9BX-M Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

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Sally Davis, the play’s director, said: "I was looking for the perfect play to start the season for Company of Ten.

"After the past 18 months I wanted something to make people laugh. I wanted people to leave the auditorium with broad smiles on their faces.

"I read so many scripts I could have started my own library!

"And then one of the company members suggested I have a look at Curtain Up! As soon as I read it, I knew it was the right play for us and what an appropriate title for the start of the season!"

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre

The Abbey Theatre’s extensive wardrobe department has been very busy providing costumes and wigs for cast members and there has also been a call for some disguise.

To find out more come and enjoy this ‘laugh-out-loud’ comedy later this month.

Performances take place on the Abbey Theatre Main Stage from Friday, September 17 to Saturday, September 25 at 8pm, and Sunday, September 19 at 2.30pm.

To book tickets, go to www.abbeytheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 01727 857861.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans.

Rehearsals for Company of Ten's production of Curtain Up! by Peter Quilter at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans. - Credit: Abbey Theatre


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