Tuesday 10th to Saturday 14th March 2020 at 7:45pm in the Richard Whitmore Studio
Mondays & Wednesdays
The One is a quick, fiery, one act, award-winning play. Harry and Jo are are up all night drawing the battle lines of their relationship with sex, violence, wine and Wotsits.
A viciously funny and daring play, The One invites you into the world of a couple trapped in a destructive and violent cycle of love and lust. As the wine flows, we find ourselves watching a private game in which the rules seem to be made up on the hoof, insincerity is a badge of honour, and power can shift in a heart-beat. Harry and Jo barely leave the stage through the 65 minutes with Kerry popping in and out.
Jo: acting age 20s. Jo is clever, articulate and not one to give up easy, no matter how trivial or significant a fight may be. A force to be reckoned with.
Kerry: acting age early 30s – Harry’s friend. Awkward, troubled and mild. Clearly no match for Jo and is uncomfortable when in their pressure cooker of a flat.
Harry: acting age 30s/40s. Jo’s old professor, now her partner. Tries to be the good guy but never seems to get it right. A worthy opponent to Jo with a hidden dangerous streak.
Note: there are some scenes of a sexual nature between Jo and Harry.
There are scripts to borrow on a sign-out available from the box office – please return scripts quickly.
By Jane Shepard, from Kick-Ass Plays for Women. Directed by Andy Darley
Scripts: available from the Box Office.
These two short but powerful plays tell unforgettable stories of women connecting and finding strength in the face of circumstances that might initially seem impossible.
Each is a one-act play for a cast of two women, and both plays will be performed each night of the run with an interval between them. The plays will have separate casts, so there are four roles to be filled at audition. Each is a strong leading role with plenty of opportunity to develop the character.
In Commencing, straight Kelli and lesbian Arlin are bounced together on a blind date: the result is a sharp, funny encounter shot through with moments of quiet tragedy as they pick apart each other’s lives and loves. It needs a cast who can handle the pace and the comedy, but also find the truth in the silences.
Both women are quick-witted, unafraid to say what they think, and love having the last word. The similarities between them become increasingly obvious as the play develops, and as a result they will need broadly similar playing ages and appearances.
They are both marked deeply by their past experiences, while still hopeful about the future. To reflect this I want to cast mid-40s upwards. Kelli spends part of the play drunk, so the role requires the ability to portray this sensitively.
Nine sees two un-named women imprisoned in chains, using words as challenges to help each other fight off despair and keep hope alive. Harrowing and sometimes brutal, it’s a celebration of the human spirit against the most inhumane conditions.
This play will be more physically challenging, as the characters (1 and 2) are shackled throughout. No explanation is provided for why they are imprisoned, but they have suffered violent interrogation and fear a repeat.
The text can support different readings of the two characters’ personalities and motivations, and we will explore this (along with their backstories) in early rehearsals. In general, 1 is more direct and challenging, while 2 is more reactive. 1 seems to have been a prisoner longer and may have seen previous cell-mates die: 2 is less institutionalised and more likely to challenge the circumstances they find themselves in.
Either character can be any playing age but I want a visible difference between them so will likely look for a gap of a generation. The material is not suitable for Big Spirit members, but all ages eligible for membership of the adult Bancroft Players are welcome to audition for either role.
Kelli: Female, playing age 45 upwards. A smart, funny, quick and probably alcoholic straight woman. Prone to rants.
Arlin: Female, playing age 45 upwards. A smart, funny, quick and occasionally bombastic lesbian who is in recovery. Fond of diatribes.
1: Female, any age. Tends to be a cooler personality, capable of remoteness.
2: Female, any age. Warmer, with a slight tendency toward dependence.
Both women are articulate, resourceful, and capable of humour in the face of adversity.
Contact: Andy Darley on 07905 628554 or
There is no single right way of thinking about or performing Macbeth. The play, of course, works on many different levels and a multitude of interpretations are possible.
My vision is to set the play in modern times in and around the antechambers and corridors of the Scottish Parliament which I think will be fun to do as well as a little provocative. I see the play on two levels: –
A fast moving thriller examining the dangers of political ambition updated to a modern setting, and
The psychological pressure that comes of being told the future and the demise that follows.
We will be using the original text in a modern setting. Inevitably there will be some changes in creating a credible environment. These include the Witches which will now become “Pollsters”, predicting political outcomes. Then there is the challenge of bringing the action indoors when the story includes sword play, battles and soldiers on horseback. Events outside the parliamentary setting will be conveyed by use of an imaginatively lit set and video.
There will be gender changes to some of the traditional male roles (see below). The production will also involve choreographed movement to suggest the bustle of a busy parliament and during scene changes.
The script which has been edited down in order to move the play along more quickly and reducing its overall length by about 20 mins to around 2 hours. The script is available as a small pdf file which can be downloaded or sent to you by email. There will also be a few printed copies to borrow from the box office, but you can download a copy here.
FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR WITH SHAKESPEARE:
Some of you may be put off acting in a Shakespeare play. Please do not be discouraged from auditioning as there will be some coaching by a professional specialist as part of the rehearsal schedule. Some of you may be interested in “Macbeth Translated” by SJ Hills – I will have a couple of copies available to borrow and return.
Acting ages of all the roles are dependent on a number of factors and therefore are shown as being flexible.
MACBETH: (Male role- acting age 30 to 45) the Thane of Glamis and a leader in Duncan’s political party, later the Thane of Cawdor. When three “pollsters” predict that he will be one day be the King of Scotland he allows his ambition and that of his wife to overcome his loyalty to King Duncan. Macbeth’s bloody reign culminates in a showdown with Malcolm (son of the King) and the English.
LADY MACBETH: (Female role – acting age 25 to 50) The scheming wife of Macbeth, whose ambitions help drive her husband toward murdering Scotland’s King. Subsequently her husband’s cruelty and her own guilt drive her to madness.
THREE WITCHES: (Male and female roles) The three agents of fate who are portrayed as pollsters in this production who reveal the future to Macbeth and Banquo.
BANQUO: (To be undertaken as a female role – acting age 30 to 45). A fellow soldier and companion of Macbeth, who also receives a prophecy from the “Pollsters” that her children will one day succeed to the throne of Scotland.
DUNCAN: (Male role – acting age 45 to 65) King of Scotland. His victories against rebellious kinsmen and the Norwegians bring him honour and the love of Scots. His decision to pass the Kingdom to his son Malcolm provokes Duncan’s untimely stabbing at the hands of Macbeth, Duncan’s kinsman.
MALCOLM: ( male role – acting age 25 to 30) Duncan’s son who is heir to the throne. Fearful of implications in his father’s murder; flees Scotland to England. With the aid of the English King, Malcolm harnesses forces to unseat Macbeth.
MACDUFF: (Male role – acting age 25 to 45) A thane of Scotland who discovers the murdered King Duncan and suspecting Macbeth eventually turns against him. Macduff later flees to England to join Malcolm. Macduff faces Macbeth in a showdown and avenges the loss of the Macduff household. The following are smaller roles and some actors will undertake more than one role:
DONALBALN: (to be undertaken as a female role – acting age 25 to 30) Traditionally son of Duncan but in this production changed to a daughter who escapes to Ireland.
FLEANCE: (Male role – acting age mid to late teens) Banquo’s son, who by escaping Macbeth’s plot on his life, is fated to father a line of kings.
LENNOX, ROSS, MENTEITH, ANGUS, CAITHNESS: these Scots nobles who turn against the tyrannical Macbeth and will be played as a mixture of male and female roles.
THE DOCTOR and LADY-IN-WAITING (who attend Lady Macbeth as she descends to madness)
FOR FURTHER INFO: please contact David Lester on 07515 339148 or email
Mojo was the first big hit for the playwright, Jez Butterworth, before he went onto write Jerusalem and The Ferryman and, in its own right, has become a classic of modern theatre.
The story is set in the gangland London of the late 1950s. Ezra’s night club has been hit by a rival gang and the boss is nowhere to be found. They’re at war over a pop singer named Silver Johnny. It’s a wickedly dark and comic tale that has been frequently revived on the West end stage. Katie Milward, the director is choosing to cross cast some of the male characters so if you want to be part of this November production, don’t let anything stop you coming along to the auditions. We’d love to see you!
Jill and Ollie are as upbeat and perky as presenters on daytime TV, the kind of show where eager eyes and electrified smiles are mandatory.
This charming young couple has been chosen by pure chance (or perhaps by design) by a government representative, Miss Dee, in order to participate in a wonderful new programme that bears the aspirational title of “Social Regeneration Through the Creation of Dream Homes”.
“If there’s a better comedy in the English language than Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, well then I’ve never heard of it” quipped Noel Coward when he was congratulated on American TV for being “better than Mr Wilde”. Well whether Coward meant it as a bon mot or not, it’s certainly very true. We sort of all know the play and that must be a testament to its enduring charm. We can quote bits from it of course – “to lose once parent Mr Worthing may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness…” or “All women become like their mothers — that is their tragedy. No man does — that is his…” and inevitably “A handbag?…” A bit like Hamlet, this is a script stuffed with quotable quotes.
Hunting through an old chest, the newly crowned James I discovers the controversial legacy of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s notorious second wife. Time jumps back 70 years, when the witty and flirtatious Anne was not only in love with Henry, but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. Conspiring with the exiled William Tyndale, she plots to make England Protestant – forever.
“This exceptional new romantic drama packs more into an hour or so than most manage in three.”
Charles Spencer, Telegraph on the opening performance at The Royal Court ★ ★ ★ ★
“Who knew that higher physics could be so sexy, so accessible — and so emotionally devastating?”
Guardian ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
‘Constellations’ is a multi-award winning play revolving around the idea that we are all apart of a universe in which at any moment several different outcomes can exist simultaneously. The two characters meet in a variety of scenes, showing different ways in which their encounters could have turned out as a result of factors ranging from previous relationships to the tone of voice used. The key with this play is the interaction and chemistry between the two characters. It really draws the audience in, making you think about how you approach conversations every single day without realising how heavily this affects the outcome of the conversation, or even the relationship.
We are pleased to announce an improvement to our online booking system for all future shows at The Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin.
You can now choose online where you want to sit as you purchase your tickets. We will email you an e-ticket as part of this new select-your-seat online option. You can print off the ticket at home or just display the e-ticket we send you on your phone when you arrive at the theatre. It’s easy, so try it next time you book and avoid any queuing.