A play written at the end of his career by Sir Noel Coward comes to Windsor's Theatre Royal next week - starring two of Britain's most respected actors.

A Song at Twilight was first performed in 1966 with Coward himself playing the legendary author Sir Hugo, whose pampered existence is disrupted by the arrival of a former mistress called Carlotta from many years ago.

What could she want after so many years? The answer turns out to be something totally unexpected and potentially embarrassing as past secrets are laid bear and painful betrayals are revealed.

The play's success lies in its chance to see the two lead characters circle each other - especially when actors of the calibre of Simon Callow and Jane Asher are playing them.

Jane Asher's career dates back 60 years to her early childhood and has covered films, television and stage.

She has no intention of stopping either, saying: "Oh no, I wouldn’t dream of it. I don’t think I know any of my fellow actors who’ve said ‘I’m going to retire at whatever age’. No, I’d hate it. I enjoy working too much. I always say that we actors may moan about certain things but we’re so lucky to do a job that we enjoy. So many people long to retire because it’s either boring or too hard work and so on, so we’re very lucky. I’d hope never to retire."

She relates to the character of Carlotta in Song at Twilight, despite one major difference between them.

"She’s not had a blazingly successful career and she’s maybe a little regretful, if not bitter perhaps that it didn’t go further than it did. But I also feel her love for Hugo was intense, real and very strong, and perhaps she’s never quite gotten over him as her first love. That’s her, not me. I do sympathise with a lot of her views on life but we’re very different people really."

Simon Callow said: "There are not a lot of points of connection between me and Hugo. I’ve known people like him and I know people like him, but I’m not such a person.

"I suppose if I’d written a couple of novels which were hugely successful very early in my life and therefore never have wanted for anything financially or in any other way, I can see how one might become such a man - to some extent isolated from the world and isolated from his own emotions."

A Song at Twilight runs at the Theatre Royal from Monday, March 11 to Saturday, March 16. Box office 01753 853888.