- Robert Morley, Margaret Rutherford, Kay Kendall, Michael Medwin, Olive Sloane, Liam Gaffney, Lloyd Lamble, Charlotte Mitchell and others
- Philip King, Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies
- Ralph Smart
- Robert Garrett
The repertory company of a provincial English theatre finds their routine and delicate balance of egos put under great strain as they begin rehearsing a new play.
Forced upon them by one of the theatre's directors, Tarnished Gold is described by producer-director Harry Blacker as a "horror", with awful characters, terrible drama, and a largely missing plot. To make matters worse, the writer, Jeremy St Clair, is to attend only their second rehearsal.
It is not long before an elderly lady arrives at the stage door. Polite but boisterous, she introduces herself as Catherine Beckwith, aka Jeremy St Clair, aunt of the theatre's director - much to the company's expectations!
As Blacker attempts to begin rehearsals for the confusing new piece, Beckwith's incessant comments and criticisms of the production and direction begin. Blacker's assistant director and stage manager is far from amused by either his boss or their author's behaviour, whilst Blacker is putting off firing one of the members of the company who's not proving a success, and another pair - a married couple - seem intent on bickering over their dreams of stardom.
With a series of competing interests vying for attention; a concerned father; an irate husband; a frustrated stage manager; producer at the end of his tether; confusing script; and insistent author, it seems that Tarnished Gold might not open on Monday next after all.