The world premiere of Ronald Harwood's new play embarks on a UK tour this summer before transferring to the West End. Quartet opens at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on 13 July and continues until the beginning of September to Cambridge, Bromley, Norwich, Richmond and Malvern. It opens at the West End's Albery Theatre on 8 September 1999.

On a summer's day in a home for retired musicians, three old friends, once the brightest stars of the opera world, are joking and reminiscing. But their tranquillity is about to be shattered by a surprise new arrival. Quartet explores the eccentricities of age, art and the human spirit and stars a quartet of veteran actors - Donald Sinden, Alec McCowen, Stephanie Cole and Angela Thorne.

Since making his stage debut in 1942, Donald Sinden's many theatre credits have included Present Laughter, Uncle Vanya, The School for Scandal, She Stoops to Conquer in the West End and numerous productions for the RSC, at Chichester and on Broadway. His TV credits include Two's Company and Never the Twain. Alec McCowen has received three Evening Standard Awards and three Tony nominations for his stage performances which include, most recently, Peter Pan at the National, Tom and Clem and Someone to Watch Over Me.

Stephanie Cole is perhaps best known as Peggy in BBC1's Keeping Mum. Her West End credits include Noises Off, Steel Magnolias and A Passionate Woman. Angela Thorne has appeared on stage in Happy Family, Body and Soul, Relatively Speaking and Communicating Doors.

Ronald Harwood's stage plays include The Dresser, J J Farr, Reflected Glory and Equally Divided. Quartet is directed by Christopher Morahan with designs by Tim Goodchild and lighting by Robin Carter.