ILKLEY Quakers are to host a challenging play - Swansong ...not Fade Away - about ageing on Friday, September 27 at 7.30pm

In a small flat somewhere in London, Frank Dudley, old-school actor, struggles with the passing of time and his old friends, his ambition to play Shakespeare’s Richard II still unfulfilled. He and his friend Kenneth are chalk and cheese. In this wryly comic tale, loosely based on a Chekhov short play, they wrestle with time, illusion, and each other, refusing to acknowledge their mutual dependency and debt, before reaching a not-unexpected conclusion.

But is Frank really a self-proclaimed national treasure, or just an unloved ageing bit-part player?

And who is Kenneth? Stooge, mentor or saviour; Laurel to Frank’s Hardy; or Edgar to his Lear?

Trapped in embittered loneliness, Frank’s none-too-glittering career seems to be fading away into oblivion. But the truth dawns on Frank in a surprising way . . .

The performance lasts about 60 minutes. According to the charity Age UK, half a million people over the age of sixty usually spend each day in complete solitude. Loneliness affects people of all ages, from all backgrounds, especially older people who have outlived their friends and immediate family.

The play is presented by Plain Quakers Theatre who aim to explore Quaker concerns through the use of simple story telling techniques and minimal resources. Their productions are always engaging and manage to explore serious issues whilst also being entertaining.

All are welcome: Friday, September 27 7.30pm. Entrance is free with a collection for Quaker Open Christmas