Final week – must end Saturday.
QUARTERMAINE'S TERMS takes place over a period of two years in the 1960s in the staffroom at a Cambridge school for teaching English to foreigners. It deals with the interrelationship between seven teachers at the school in particular that between St John (pronounced 'Sinjon') Quartermaine and the others. St John is a kind-hearted and agreeable person always willing to listen to the other teacher's woes, but is pretty hopeless as a teacher himself. The appointment of a new Principal casts doubt on Quartermain's future.
Exploring the theme of loneliness, during the course of the play the characters experience the trauma of being or feeling alone. Mark has marriage trouble; Derek, from Hull, finds Cambridge initially unwelcoming; Eddie faces bereavement; Anita’s husband is a philanderer; Henry is trapped in a dysfunctional nuclear family and Melanie is similarly trapped caring for a Mother who she despises. Quartermaine is a painfully lonely bachelor with seemingly no friends or hinterland other than his colleagues at the school.
QUARTERMAINE'S TERMS is a quintessentially British play and Simon Gray pokes gentle fun at the British penchant for “muddling through” and “not complaining” – coupled with a tendency not to take firm action when necessary. The verbal style is characteristically British with form and euphemism dominant and with real issues constantly being ducked out of politeness. When clouded signals are offered (especially signals that suggest a character needs help) they are so obscure that it is possible for others to ignore them – and they usually do.
Rowan Atkinson stars as St John Quartermaine, making his first appearance in a play in 25 years, although he played Fagin in the recent revival of Oliver at the London Palladium. Best known for his silent, rubber-faced creation Mr Bean, Atkinson is also well loved for his roles in Blackadder and Not The Nine O'clock News.Film credits include two Mr Bean films, Love, Actually and Johnny English.
Book your QUARTERMAINE'S TERMS tickets today!