The Nightingales, by Peter Quilter, is set in the 1950s, about tensions in families, about finding and losing love, and about music and a grand piano. There are five speaking roles (and the piano): the Nightingale family – parents and son, a possible girlfriend, and a housekeeper. They perform more at home than they ever do on the stage.
Jack is a cabaret star, as in love with his piano as he is with his silk dressing gowns and himself. His parents, Charlie and Beatrice, are old Music Hall stars, full of hilarious tales of life on the road, most of which Jack has heard many times before. Maggie is Jack’s performance partner, and regularly visits his house to rehearse, drink tea, and tell the sorry tale of her latest romantic disaster. The cast is completed by Geraldine, Jack’s long-suffering housekeeper who struggles to keep the household together.
Charlie and Beatrice unexpectedly arrive asking to stay with Jack for a few days: they promise to “be gone by Christmas”. This throws Jack’s and Maggie’s lives into chaos. Charlie and Jack can’t be in the same room for more than a minute before they are either shouting at, or ignoring, each other. Then Beatrice unexpectedly disappears…
This is a very funny, touching show business comedy, bursting with one-liners and lovable characters, which asks important questions. Are there such things as happy endings? What do performers do once the spotlight goes off them? Can you see love when it’s there in front of you?
The cast have all played in previous of the Players’ productions, and in their very popular February Pantomimes as well.