Act Your Age

A Musical Farce for your mature cast described as " a rare combination of wonderful new music, belly ache humour and farce."

Celebrity Sanctuary is a clinic that offers relaxation for A Listers. It has however, fallen on hard times. When  the owner, receives a call from “Victoria’s agent”, they are delighted, but this quickly turns to concern as they realise that they cannot now provide all the facilities that are expected.





Plot / Synopsis


Celebrity Sanctuary is a clinic that offers rest, relaxation and therapy for celebrities. It has however, fallen on hard times and has amassed debts, but lost patients and staff, and now there are just two of each. Valerie, the owner, receives a call from “Victoria’s agent”, and naturally assumes that this is the A-list celebrity in need of some rest and recuperation. She will check in as ‘Mrs Smith’, and the agent stipulates no publicity and a professional, well-run establishment. Valerie, and Pat, her faithful aide-de-camp, are delighted of course, but this quickly turns to concern as they realise that they cannot now provide all the facilities that are expected. (Song : 'Sod's Law').

Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher WortleyMeanwhile, at the old people’s home down the road, a bungling workman has dug up the road and left the home without power or water, and the toilets are backing up! Mrs Hewitt decides to take her ‘inmates’ to the clinic while she finds temporary accommodation and marches them all in, to Valerie’s astonishment. (Song : 'Sunny Seniors Are Us'). The old folk are a mixed bag in age and ability (mental and physical) but despite Mrs Hewitt's strict nature (Song : 'A Tight Ship'), all of them read ‘Hello’ magazine and are quite star-struck. Seizing her opportunity, Valerie easily persuades the old folk to masquerade as staff and patients, joining the two ‘proper’ patients, Melanie (a D-list celebrity) and Angela (a middle-aged nymphomaniac), in return for the possibility of meeting ‘Victoria’ and her friends. (Song : 'Count On Us'). ‘Mrs Smith’ duly arrives, heavily disguised, but the person underneath is Jenny, who ran away from home as a teenager. (Song : 'For Once In My Life'). She is soon to be married, and wants to observe her mother again before revealing herself. She has been tipped off that her mother (Valerie) now works at the clinic.

Then a succession of furtive people check in as patients and are assumed to be friends of ‘Victoria’ - a reporter with his photographer; Angela’s latest beau, Mario; and Jenny’s fiancé who suspects her of infidelity. (Song : 'Ever So Discreet'). The new ‘staff’ must take over the daily routines and administer the various designer therapies, resulting in the situation where amateurs are ministering to people they take to be celebrities, and ‘celebrities’ who are nothing of the kind and don’t want to be unmasked. despite the chaotic nature of the arrangement, Valerie is hopeful that her luck has turned for the better. (Song : 'This Could Be The Time'). The workman strikes again when he resumes digging leaving the therapy annex uninhabitable, so some bizarre alternatives to the usual massage, sauna and other therapies are developed and these take place in make-shift rooms with make-shift equipment. As night falls, classic farce (but set to music as Song : 'You Haven't Seen Me'). descends in a room with three doors - Mrs Smith is creeping about looking for childhood memorabilia; Angela and Mario are creeping about looking for one another; John is looking for Jenny, and the reporter and the photographer are looking for a scoop (Song : 'You've Been Papped'). The first Act closes with Pat dreamily wishing for a star-studded future. (Song : 'I Want To Be A Celebrity').

 In the morning, with the new 'therapies' in full swing, (Song : 'The Sing-a-long Therapy Thing'), there is a more traditional farce as patients and ‘therapists’ pop in and out of the make-shift therapy rooms in a succession of complicated manoeuvres, narrowly avoiding revealing their ‘naked’ forms to the audience (this is carefully scripted with helpful rehearsal diagrams).

Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley
Musical Comedy: 'Act Your Age' by Christopher Wortley

While the old folks decide that cosmetic surgery is a 'must have' (Song : 'I Think I Need A Little Operation - Tango'), one of their number, Mrs Cousins, has broken ranks and told her son what has been happening. He duly arrives, ostensibly to visit ’dear old Mum’, but clearly desperate to touch the famous. Mindful of Victoria’s stipulations, Valerie quickly suggests to Mr Cousins that his mum is going senile, and that the clinic is in fact a boarding school able to house the old folk as the pupils are all at home for the holidays. “Of course this isn’t a clinic for celebrities, and so naturally, there are no celebrities here!” The chorus now take part in farcical goings-on as the old folk must revert to behaving like old folk to convince Mr Cousins, but as soon as Mrs Smith approaches, Mr Cousins must be distracted and the old folks must be staff and patients again! (Song : 'I Think I Need A Little Operation - Waltz'),

In the middle of all this, Mrs Hewitt re-appears and Valerie must stop her from thinking that her lovely old dears are being exploited and corrupted. As if all this wasn’t enough, a jewel thief then arrives with some stolen diamond-studded underwear (still being worn by a mannequin) to meet Iris, one of the old folks who has been using the home as a cover for her nefarious activities (mainly fencing stolen jewels). (Song : 'A Rotter Like Me'),

Everything comes to a head in the Finale : when happy endings and plot resolutions abound - all coming thick and fast.


Principals (4m, 10f)
  Valerie - 50-60, the owner and manager of Celebrity Sanctuary
  Pat - 30-50, Valerie’s loyal retainer, optimistic, resourceful and practical, unsophisticated
  Melanie - 40+, a patient at the Sanctuary, D-list celebrity with pretensions of being A-list (**)
  Angela - 40-55, a patient at the Sanctuary, an ageing nymphomaniac (==)
  Mrs Hewitt - 30+ the Manager of Sunny Seniors Old People Home, likes discipline, a control freak
  Iris - 60+, pretends to be ga-ga, in reality is a clever jewel thief, the home is a cover for fencing
  Joan - 60+, reasonably compos mentis, friendly, helpful, a bit chaotic, has bladder problems
  Joanna - 60+ , also compos mentis, efficient, a natural leader, becomes the old folks spokesperson
  Josephine - 60+, another reasonably compos mentis person, slightly cynical and subversive
  Jenny - 20-30, estranged daughter of Valerie, wants to secretly meet before revealing herself
  Reporter - 20+ (male), incompetent but thinks otherwise (**)
  John - 20-40, Jenny’s jealous fiancée (==)
  Mario -25-40, a gigolo, Angela’s latest paramour (==)
  Photographer - 20-40, would much prefer to be a fashion photographer
    Notes :  
      (==) the person playing this role must be comfortable to appear on stage dressed only in a towel
      (**) the person playing this role must be comfortable to appear on stage apparently naked behind a towel
Support (5m, 3f) All are speaking roles only
  Betty - 60+, once a servant in stately homes, is mistaken for an ageing courtesan
  Ellen McDonald - 60+, somewhat confused, thinks she is ‘Victoria’, cooks with inappropriate ingredients
  Mrs Cousins - 92, an ‘inmate’ at Sunny Seniors
  Joe - 60+, an ‘inmate’ at Sunny Seniors, somewhat lascivious
  Gerry Jackal - male, 25+ (but should be ten years younger than Melanie), a jewel thief
  The Workman - male, 25+
  Adrian Cousins - 55-65, Mrs Cousins son, desperate to be associated with celebrities
  Policeman - male, 30+
  Chorus of Old Folk, Police, etc.

Instrumentation / Rentals

Piano, Keys, Drums and MD. Now also available with CD backing track.

Production Costs

14% of Box Office.