A COMEDY OF TENORS
RETURN OF THE TENORS FOR THE CIVIC PLAYERS
Look at cinema listings in any given week and there’s a good chance that there will be at least a few films that are part of a franchise. Sequels, prequels, reboots…continuing a saga is the name of the game. Theatre, on the other hand, generally concerns itself with one-offs and standalone plays. One of the very few exceptions is A Comedy Of Tenors by Ken Ludwig, a follow up to his previous hit Lend Me A Tenor. The Civic Players of Yeovil presented the earlier play in November 2022 to great acclaim, and they are now returning to the operatic world to catch up with some familiar faces. First time director Terry Francis explains : “It’s very unusual to have a theatrical sequel. Several characters from Lend also appear in Comedy, and what makes this production so exciting is that we are able to have the original actors reprising their roles. Not only that, we’re performing in the same theatre! The continuation really couldn’t be any more perfect.”
A Comedy Of Tenors is set in 1930s Paris and the stage is set for the concert of the century – as long as producer Henry Saunders can keep Italian superstar Tito Merelli and his hot-blooded wife, Maria, from causing runaway chaos. One hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends, and a soccer stadium filled with screaming fans. What could possibly go wrong? The audience can prepare themselves for an uproarious ride, full of mistaken identities, bedroom hijinks, and madcap delight.
The Civic Players chairman Andrew Meadows believes that the audience is in for a special treat. “When we presented Lend Me A Tenor, we had no idea that a sequel even existed, we only discovered it towards the end of the run. When that show proved to be so successful and popular, the decision to produce Comedy as soon as we could became a no-brainer. Especially as we are able to reunite the same cast, which must be a very rare, if not unique, situation. We have a very loyal audience, many of them will have seen Lend Me A Tenor, and their loyalty will be rewarded when they recognise and remember the characters they enjoyed watching last time and will be delighted to meet them again!”
Having successfully proved their dramatic chops earlier this year with their production of Dracula, this is a return to familiar comedy ground for The Civic Players. Vice-chairman Rich Walters is happy to mix things up a bit. “I think we surprised a lot of people with Dracula. Being so well known for comedy, we showed that we can nevertheless handle the serious pieces if we want. Having said that, there’s nothing quite like hearing a roomful of people laughing along with you and knowing that you’re responsible for that laughter. The most wonderful sound in the world, and A Comedy Of Tenors will provide plenty of laughs!”
A Comedy Of Tenors will be presented by The Civic Players at the Swan Theatre, Yeovil from November 29 to December 2 2023. Tickets are £12 each, with a special ‘Two for £20’ offer for the November 29 performance, and will initially be exclusively available to patrons very shortly!