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Audition Notice: The Ferryman by Jez Butterworth

Audition Dates
  • 12th June 2022 at 10:00 am
  • 14th June 2022 at 7:45 pm
  • 16th June 2022 at 7:45 pm
Performance Dates
Monday 26th September to Saturday 1st Oct 2022
Rehearsals
Tuesdays and Thursdays

The Ferryman

by Jez Butterworth

Directed By David Lester

Performance dates: Monday 26th September to Saturday 1st Oct 2022 at the QMT

Audition dates: 6th June at 10am and 14th & 16th June at 7.45pm

 UPDATED INFORMATION: 

Audition pieces are now highlighted in red in the casting document available via the link on this page. Also, it will not be essential for actors to have mastered the Northern irish accent for the auditions as a voice coach will be working with the cast during rehearsals.

Northern Ireland, 1981. The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest.  A day of hard work on the land and a traditional night of feasting and celebrations lie ahead. But this year they will be interrupted by a visitor.

Much praise has been lavished on Jez Butterworth’s writing, including several ‘Best Play’ awards in the UK and US. The play is about Quinn Carney, a loving father whose life has been haunted by the unexplained disappearance of his brother Seamus, leaving him and his distant wife Mary to take in his brother’s vivacious wife Caitlin who always clung to the possibility Seamus would return. But a body has been found preserved in a bog, and a watchful peace made possible by uncertainly is about to end.

Each character has their moment on stage, but despite the large cast and interwoven plot lines it remains intimate, set in the kitchen  of a single Armagh farmhouse in 1981. It is a play about a mystical idea of Ireland in which fairies and banshees and magic all exist, somewhere. It is a play about youthful idealism and brutal adult pragmatism. It’s also a love story. And like most of Butterworth’s work, it is funny as it builds to a devastating climax.

All are well rounded characters in the play. which stands comparison with Butterworth’s other major hit, Jerusalem. On the following pages are descriptions of all the characters with their acting ages and backgrounds. If you do not know the play it’s well worth  checking out clips of the West End production and in particular, interviews with Jez Butterworth about his play on YouTube.

The Character:

  • Quinn Carney – Male, 40’s
  • Caitlin Carney – Female, 30’s
  • Mary Carney – Female, late 30’s
  • Aunt Patricia Carney – Female, Late 70’s
  • Uncle Patrick Carney – Male, 70’s
  • Aunt Maggie Faraway – Female, Late 70’s-80’s
  • Muldoon – Male, 40’s
  • Frank Magennis – Male, 20’s
  • Tom Kettle – Male, 40’s
  • Father Horrigan – Male, 50’s
  • James Joseph Carney (JJ) – Male, mid teens
  • Michael Carney – Male, mid teens
  • Shena Carney – Female, mid teens
  • Nunu (Nuala) Carney – Female, 11
  • Olson Carney – Male, mid teens
  • Shane Corcoran – Male, mid to late teens
  • Diarmaid Corcoran – Male, mid to late teens
  • Lawrence Malone – Male, 20’s
  • Declan Corcoran – Male, early to mid teens
  • Honor Carney – Female, 7
  • Mercy Carney – Female, 9

For a full character breakdown and audition pieces – Casting – The Ferryman – Audition Pieces

Scripts are available from the theatre or an online scan of the script has been made available via this link

For more information contact :

Audition Notice: Eigengrau by Penelope Skinner

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Eigengrau by Penelope Skinner

Directed by Violet Morris

In The Richard Whitmore Studio

  • Auditions:  Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th March 2022 at 7:45pm
  • Performances: Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th June 2022.
  • Rehearsal Nights: (TBC)

THE PLAY

Eigengrau/ [ay-gen-gr-ow]/ noun. Intrinsic light; the colour seen by the eye in perfect darkness.

Feminist activist Cassie is engaged in a fervent struggle against patriarchal oppression. Her new flatmate Rose believes in true love and leprechauns. Across London, Mark believes in the power of marketing. His flatmate Tim Muffin is engaged in a fervent struggle just to get out of bed. Mark goes home with Rose and meets Cassie. When circumstance throws them together, all four have their beliefs tested to devastating effect in a biting black comedy about trying to connect in a city where Gumtree can sometimes feel like your closest friend.

 

DIRECTORS TAKE

This is going to be a really exciting play, all about relationships, friendships and feminism. I’m hoping to include lots of physical aspects and music, alongside Skinner’s quick fiery dialogue. A small cast will create an intimate connection with the audience allowing the thought provoking power dynamics, relationships and subject matter to create a lasting effect on the audience.

I have some scenes for Rose, Cassie, Mark and Tim which I can email to you to give you a feel for the characters and the play itself – please email me.  On the audition day you can either specify which part you’d like to be considered for or you can audition for both!

 

THE ROLES

  • Cassie: Strong willed and engaged in a fervent struggle against patriarchal oppression, Cassie is a feminist activist who’s story begins when she moves into a flat with someone she found off of gumtree.
  • Rose: A believer in true love and leprechauns, Rose’s passion for all things fantasy sometimes clouds her vision from reality. Her contrast to Cassie makes for a complex relationship and uncomfortable dilemmas.
  • Mark: Mark believes in the power of Marketing, he is a smooth talking public school boy who’s only real interest is himself.
  • Tim:  Tim’s engaged in a fervent struggle just to get out of bed. He is a man who can’t let go of the ashes of his late Nan. He lives with Mark in a flat in London and when all hope seems lost, he begins to fall in love.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Extracts of the play for you to sample available from Violet:  . Copies of scripts will be available to borrow on Tuesday 15 February, but must be returned before the Audition date.

Audition Notice: Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall

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Shakespeare in Love by Lee Hall
Directed by Nicki Pope
Movement by Katie Rallison

Rehearsals will be on Tues and Thurs, with some Sunday mornings up to the opening. Tec will be on the 13th May with Dress on 15th May.
Performance Dates – 16th -21st May

Based on the Academy Award-winning movie, this enchanting, hilarious, romantic stage play reimagines William Shakespeare’s creative process – and explores his inspiration – as he writes Romeo and Juliet.

We all know William Shakespeare as a brilliant, imaginative, funny, trendsetting playwright whose work has held up the test of time better than any other. We know he lived in the 16th century and that he performed plays for the Queen, but how did Shakespeare become the Shakespeare we know today? In this exciting play by Lee Hall, adapted from the screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard, we get to witness a version of what might have been. Did Shakespeare have writer’s block from time to time? Did he need a muse to write his famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet? Lee Hall’s version of this successful screenplay follows the same story of Shakespeare meeting and falling in love with a aristocratic woman named Viola De Lesseps who wishes she could be an actor, and transforms it for the stage, just as Shakespeare did with stories in his day. It is funny, clever, filled with references to Shakespeare’s work, and a delight for theatre goers of all ages.

Cast
Will Shakespeare
Viola De Lesseps
Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe
Philip Henslowe
Lord Wessex
Ned Alleyn
Edmund Tilney
Richard Burbage
Nurse
Hugh Fennyman
Wabash
Sam
John Webster
Ralph
Queen Elizabeth I of England
Sir Robert De Lesseps
Molly and Kate

The principal characters are Will and Viola – however the supporting cast will all have the opportunity to shine with some very meaty characters to portray – there may be some doubling of parts, depending on who auditions.

As with all my productions, we will explore the period and the characters, and as an ensemble bring Elizabethan England to the QMT.

Books will be available shortly, and if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Once more unto the breach dear friends….

Nicki Pope

Audition Notice: Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle, and Dick – by Terry Johnson

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About the Play

In 1964 a fifty-one-year-old man meets a twenty-seven-year-old woman at work.

She’s young, buxom, blonde, pretty. And just about to get married…

Over the years, as they work together, the two grow closer; they become friends. He becomes obsessed with her. She promises him one night of lust in Brighton. Just one night.  Just to get it out of his system.

He takes her up on her offer and then begins one of the most well-known secret affairs of the twentieth century.

He was Sid James.

She was Barbara Windsor.

Terry Johnson’s biographical play follows the affair from their first meeting all the way to its conclusion. Focusing on the events during the making of four Carry On films, and all set in a leaky and distinctly unglamourous caravan. It’s funny, touching and ultimately tragically sad as the lives of these icons of British comedy are put under the theatrical microscope.

 

CAST

From the outset, it’s important to recognise that whilst four of the characters were real people, three of these characters are iconic public figures and even to this day they remain well-known to millions.

But I am not looking for people who look like them, or asking people to do impressions of them. I am looking for people who can work at developing these characters to bring them to life on the stage. The ages are just a guide – it is a period piece, and much can be done with performance, costume, and make up.

    • Sid James – Comedy actor. Also, a gambler and womaniser. Not a fan of Kenneth. (Age late 40s – 60s)
    • Kenneth Williams – Comedy actor. Bitter at the lack of recognition of his own acting genius. Good friend to Barbera. Not a fan of Sid. (Age late 30s to 50s).
    • Barbara Windsor – Actress. Eastender. She is confident and strong from the outset but also vulnerable. (Age 25-40)
    • Sally – Sid’s young dresser. She puts up with Sid’s endless demands (Age 18-30)
    • Imogen Hassell – A young actress looking for her break. Naïve. (Age 18-25)
    • Eddie – Barbara’s driver and bodyguard. An Eastend heavy. (Age 40s/50s)

 

Notes About the Auditions

Scripts will be shortly available by the box office with a signing in and out list. Please try not to keep them too long, as numbers are limited.

For those interested in auditioning please look at the first act/scene (with the exception of Eddie who is only in the later scenes).

The performance dates are 21st to 26th February 2022

Rehearsal nights will be Mondays and Wednesdays

 

Want to Know More?

Feel free to drop me an email if you want any more information at

Many thanks

Matt

Audition Notice: The Maids by Jean Genet

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THE PLAY
“Dazzling, dangerous and captivatingly queasy” The Guardian
Based very loosely on a notorious 1930s murder case, The Maids is a shocking play with boldlydrawn characters, unreliable narrators and a lot to say about class and gender politics.

Claire and Solange are two maids, trapped in a menial life of service to a Mistress so uncaring that she cannot reliably tell them apart. While she is out of the apartment, they enact vicious erotic fantasies of murdering her, by dressing in her clothes and taking turns to play at being her and each other.

When she returns before they have fully cleaned up from their games, the Maids realise they must turn the fantasy into reality to save themselves. But how can they, when she has all the power and they have none?

DIRECTORS TAKE
This play has immense contemporary resonance in two distinct ways: the conversation around breaking down traditional gender constructs; and the corrosive approach of extreme inequality on society.

My intention is to create a show that delivers a real emotional punch and The Maids has the potential to be spectacularly powerful when staged inside the Studio’s ‘black cube!

STAGING
Of all Genet’s works, The Maids (1947) is the one most often revived. It combines respect for theatrical form and language with an absurdist challenge to the audience’s expectations – and comfort.

All three characters are female, but they have historically been played by either gender. Although we go into the auditions with a preference for casting a man as the Mistress and women as the two maids, we remain open-minded and invite any Bancroft Players member to read for any role. It is essential to remember that the characters will be played as female whatever the casting – this is not an opportunity for Panto-style exaggeration!

We are using the modern translation of the text by Andrew Upton and Benedict Andrews. It contains a large amount of strong language – and three equally strong characters that will reward a cast willing to improvise and workshop a non-naturalistic style during the rehearsal process. We will be setting this production in the 1980s.

THE ROLES
All roles can be played by any gender or age, but the characters themselves have fixed genders and ages. Any discrepancy between cast and character is exactly the effect Genet intended…

The Mistress: playing gender/age female/20-35. Wealthy, capricious, shallow and sometimes brutally dismissive of her maids, the Mistress has all the money and luxury her heart could desire. Like a modern-day Footballer’s Wife, however, she hasn’t earned it and isn’t quite sure she deserves it.

Solange and Claire: playing gender/age female/30s. Maids, and sisters (although not necessarily blood sisters). In their enactments of the Mistress’s murder they sometimes play as each other, and the roles are somewhat similar. Solange is the older sister, a self-loathing masochist who is the more resentful of Madame, with a long and powerful monologue near the end of the play. Claire is slightly more sympathetic to the Mistress, but is also capable of brutally cruel impersonations of her. While Solange hates the Mistress, Claire wants to be her.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Audition extracts available from Lisa.
Contact: Lisa Hutchins on 07544214477

Audition Notice: The Snow Queen

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Our Christmas show is a new version of Hans Christian Anderson’s wonderful story – The Snow Queen. Gerda’s friend Kai disappears one day after the Snow Queen meets him. She puts a splinter of ice into his heart so that he cannot remember his home or anyone he knows. Gerda goes to find her friend and, on the way, enlists the help of all those she meets. Will she get to Kai on time or will he stay a prisoner forever in the frozen castle?

There is a long list of characters. Much of the story though can be played by an ensemble who take on the many roles. Of course we will need someone to play Gerda and Kai and the Snow Queen herself in all her chilling power! Which means there are lots of opportunities to act.

This is a funny and touching show – just like the original story. With some songs to cheer us on. It will truly be a magical evening for the audience and for everyone involved.

We are casting across the Bancroft Players, Big Spirit Youth Theatre and the Juniors so all the generations of the Society can work together.

Audition Notice: THE WASP by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm

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Audition dates: Tuesday 24th and Thursday 26th August 2021

Performance dates: Tuesday 9th November to Saturday 13th November 2021

Rehearsal nights: Tuesdays and Thursdays

 

The Wasp

by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, is a densely coiled two-hander.

 

Heather and Carla haven’t seen each other since school. Their lives have taken very different paths – Carla lives a hand to-mouth existence while Heather has a high-flying career, husband and a beautiful home. And yet, here they are in a café having tea and making awkward conversation. That is until Heather presents Carla with a bag containing a significant amount of cash and an unexpected proposition.

 

Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s electric play asks how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences and to what lengths some people are willing to go in order to come to terms with them.

 

Characters: Carla and Heather both in their late twenties or early thirties.

 

Scripts: Please contact Keith Swainston to borrow a copy of the script or to obtain further information on

07799 803623 or

Audition Notice: SHIRLEY VALENTINE by Willy Russell

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Feeling trapped in a world of domesticity, Shirley, a housewife from Liverpool, needs a change in her life before she has another conversation with the walls.

When her friend Jane invites her on a trip to a Greek island, Shirley jumps at the chance.
While relaxing on holiday, she rediscovers the woman she used to be and the happiness that she has been missing. Shirley embarks on a passionate affair with Costas, a local Greek man, and realizes that there is more to life than the dull, mundane existence she leads back home.

At the airport, she has a major decision to make. Head home to her old life or go back to the hotel she has been staying at to ask for a job. Finally, she is living the life she has dreamed of and rediscovered the self-confidence she has lost.

The auditions will take place at The QMT on Monday 19th July and Wednesday 21st July 2021

Cast

Shirley – a middle-aged housewife. You all know Shirley and you also know the commitment and hard work that will be required to play this amazing role. It is not for the faint-hearted. It’s two hours of YOU, talking, remembering, cooking (chips and egg), engaging, playing, laughing, crying and being Shirley Valentine! But what a fantastic role!

Audition pieces

Choose two of the following that you think really brings out your best.
1. Clitoris
2. Crying
3. Greece

I am really excited to be directing this strong one-woman show and looking forward to having lots of laughs with whoever becomes “Shirley”.

Elliott Bunker

Audition Notice: The Retreat by Sam Bain

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The Retreat is a fast moving comical play which explores a modern day search for
enlightenment and the process of giving up a former life.

The main action focusses on the turbulent relationship between Luke and his brother Tony.
Luke has decided to give up his lucrative job and expensive London flat in search of peace
and happiness as a Buddhist monk. Tony who has been enjoying the life his brother has
provided for him thinks it’s a dumb idea and has tracked his brother down to a retreat in the
Scottish highlands to change his mind. There is one problem Tara. A beautiful, enigmatic and idealistic young woman who would rather see Luke’s money helping the community to build a temple.

500 years BC the Buddha renounced his princely life and left his family to experience the real world. During many years he encountered suffering and self-denial until he reached a state of enlightenment and began to teach “The Middle Way” based on key principles to live life to reach Nirvana. Today millions of people around the world follow the teachings which emphasise the ability to effect your own destiny rather than relying on divine power.

Characters

  • Luke: acting age 25-35; Businessman, charismatic, previously stressed now turning to
    meditation and Buddhism so projects a calm image. He is clearly attracted to Tara but trying to hide it.
  • Tony: acting age 25-35. Outspoken, quick witted and cutting. Likes his life, uses drugs recreationally and has no desire to change.
  • Tara: acting age 25-35. Charismatic and determined. She is an entrepreneur and quietly seductive without trying. She is dressed as the “Green Tara” (a Buddhist deity who enables men to make change).

Audition Pieces
Chanting: There will be some Chanting and meditation come prepared!
Luke and Tony pg 5-8, Luke and Tony (40-46) & 48-53, Luke and Tony 70-71 Meditation
Luke and Tara 61-67, All 15-22.

For further Information:
Contact: for copies of the audition pieces (in pdf format) or on 07973 563511 if you would like more information about the play.

Audition Notice: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM by William Shakespeare

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PLEASE NOTE :
These auditions are being held online – please DO NOT come to the theatre. Zoom details below.

Seventy years ago (in 1951) the Dell Theatre was opened by the then Hitchin Urban District Council (now NHDC) as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. The Council built the theatre for what they thought may just be a one-off occasion and the show was A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed for the Bancroft Players by Maurice Keeley, a local schoolteacher. In fact, the Bancroft Players went on to use the Dell Theatre for several years into the 1960s, presenting the gamut of Shakespearean comedies. When, the QMT was built and opened in 1983, the Dell had long grown into dis-use so it was left to the wonderful Rosemary Bianchi to lead the charge to get it re-opened, especially as the QMT was bang next door to the venue. And from the 1990s until about 2011 the BPs continued to use it each year.

 

After years of petitioning the local council and through the sterling efforts of Keith Hoskins and Judy Billing, the council have recently agreed to re-launch the venue and they have asked the Bancroft Players to open the new Dell with – what else – A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of this year’s Hitchin Festival.

 

It will be a whole-Bancroft Players production with Juniors, Big Spirit and the senior Society involved. To make the rehearsing easier we will rehearse in teams and each team will have a very experienced director leading it.

 

Team 1 – The Court

  • Theseus – King of Athens
  • Egeus – father of Hermia
  • Hippolyta – Bride to Theseus
  • Philostrate – master of revels

 

Team 2 – The Lovers

  • Demetrius – a young swain
  • Lysander – in love with Hermia
  • Hermia – in love with Lysander
  • Helena – in love with Demetrius

 

Team 3 – The Mechanicals

  • Peter Quince – the troupe’s director
  • Bottom – a weaver who is a bit of an ass
  • Snug – a joiner
  • Flute – a bellows-mender
  • Snout – a tinker
  • Starveling – a tailor

 

Team 4 –  The Fairy Folk

  • Titania – Queen of the fairies
  • Oberon – their King
  • Puck – a mischievous sprite
  • Peaseblossom, Cobweb, Mustardseed and Moth – fairy folk

 

So there are many adult roles to be cast, guys. We are taking a gender-neutral approach so don’t be put off if you feel the wrong gender for a particular role – go for it!

 

The audition pieces will be put on the BP members FaceBook page by this weekend and the auditions will take place on Wednesday and Thursday at 8pm on 5th and 6th May via Zoom.


It’s going to be a big welcome back production for everyone so I want all of you to be part of it one way or another. Rehearsals start on Monday 17th May (first day back in the Theatre!). I will also send the pieces by email if you wish and you can contact me on . And I will send them out.

 

As we are doing the play in modules, it will be super easy to rehearse, and you will only be called to rehearsals you are involved in with your particular team.

 

Performance dates: 29th-31st July 2021