By Ian Hislop and Nick Newman
Directed By David Lester
This will be a fun play to do with the added challenge of how to be convincing as an amateur actor. And it comes with acting out some scenes from King Lear!
Keen to boost his flagging career, fading Hollywood action hero Jefferson Steele arrives in England to play King Lear in Stratford – only to discover that this is not the birthplace of the Bard, but a sleepy Suffolk village. And instead of Kenneth Branagh and Dame Julie Dench, the cast are amateurs trying to save their theatre from developers. Jefferson’s ego, vanity and insecurity are tested to the limit by our enthusiastic amateur thespians. As acting worlds collide and Jefferson’s career implodes, he discovers some truths about himself.
The script was originally written in 2004 for a film of the same name, but then rewritten for the theatre and with Ian Hislop as co-author you can imagine some killer lines! However, our approach here will not be to ‘camp up’ the world of am drams, but take an entirely professional approach, bringing out the spirit of amateur theatre and why we do it… if that makes sense.
- Jefferson Steel
- a fading Hollywood star who is arrogant, insecure, brash, gauche, demanding, vulnerable and ultimately aware of his own absurdity.
- Dorothy Nettle
- director of The Stratford Players and the moving force behind keeping the theatre alive. Her sweet and accommodating nature conceals her inner steel.
- Jessica Steele
- Jefferson’s teenage daughter, who has been neglected by her Hollywood star father and now wants to make him pay for it.
- Nigel Dewbury
- solicitor and leading light of the Stratford Players. Rather pompous, stuck-up and self-regarding, he believes he is the star of the show and should play all the leading roles. He also fancies his romantic chances with Dorothy.
- Mary Plunkett
- owner of the Rectory bed and breakfast. Jolly, generous and an unashamedly adoring Jefferson Steele fan – although somewhat confused about which roles he played in this films&hellip; and how keen he is on her.
- Denis Dobbins
- handyman and village Mr Fixit. Avuncular though slightly dull, Denis is star-struck by Jefferson and fancies heading up his entourage of one.
- Lauren Bell
- thirty-something marketing executive former physiotherapist and the sponsor’s wife. Passionate about the arts and smarter than her husband allows her to be, she’s regarded more for her looks than her intellect.
- Other non speaking roles
- 2-3 additional members of the Stratford Players, plus some members of the audience on stage for the Stratford Players performance of King Lear.
Apart from two of the roles mentioned above, ages are not specific and as often is the case, its about aiming for the right casting combination.
Scripts and further information
Scripts will be available shortly for loan and quick return using a sign out sheet behind the box office.
Further info: Please speak to me, David Lester on 07515 339148 and