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Audition Notice: Airswimming by Charlotte Jones

Audition Dates
  • 7th April 2020 at 7:45 pm
  • 9th April 2020 at 7:45 pm
Performance Dates
Tuesday 2nd to Saturday 6th June 2020 in the Richard Whitmore Studio
Rehearsals
TBD

Airswimming by Charlotte Jones

Directed by Harry Harding

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Charlotte Jones is a highly successful British playwright whose six stage plays have been performed at the National Theatre, the Donmar, the Almeida, in the West End and all over the world. She has also written extensively for TV, radio and film.

ABOUT THE PLAY

Set in 1920’s England, Airswimming is based on the true story of two women (Miss Kitson and Miss Baker), who have been incarcerated in a hospital for the “criminally insane” for having borne illegitimate children. Forgotten by their families and not released until the 1970’s, DORA and PERSEPHONE adopt alter-egos, DORPH and PORPH, to enact their fantasies and survive the silence of incarceration. By turns very funny and moving, Airswimming reminds us of the forgotten women of these generations in both Britain and Ireland.

Neither is sure why they are there, but as the years and the decades roll by and they become institutionalised you begin to realise that if they weren’t mad when they went in, they certainly are when they get out.

We know these two women were locked away in the early 1920s but Airswimming plays with linear narrative as the story of DORA and PERSEPHONE is told both forwards and backwards. It difficult to get a grasp on time as, like the characters themselves, you struggle to decipher what the year is and how long these poor women have been incarcerated. Initially polar opposites of one another, they grow fiercely dependant on each other and develop an unhealthy relationship as they disappear into their imaginations to escape the horrifying facts of their reality.

Spanning approximately six decades, Jones’s depiction of these two characters’ descent into madness is as funny as it is chilling.

‘The structure and writing – admirably clear and unsentimental – both trip the light fantastic too, effortlessly gliding from the desperately funny to the desperately sad.’ – The Guardian.

NOTES FROM CHARLOTTE JONES

Airswimming is a comedy about despair. It was inspired by the various true stories of women who were placed in the mental institutions in the 1920s because they had given birth to illegitimate children, or for other spurious reasons such as they were deaf, lesbian or merely “atypical”. Some of these women were not released until the 1970s when a lot of the Victorian mental institutions closed down as the great age of pharmacology had dawned. It is a meditation on stasis, on being stuck in a hopeless situation and the salvation that is to be found only in friendship.

The dance and song elements are crucial to the sense of joy that the play can bring in performance. DORA and PERSEPHONE find each other and remain essentially free even though they are incarcerated because of the pleasure and solace they find in each other’s company. DORA and PERSEPHONE manage to save each other and transform into their alter egos DORPH and PORPH in order to survive

THE PRODUCTION

This will be a dark, bleak production with a minimalist set consisting mainly of a tin bath filled with water, a rusty staircase, and a box full of props and wigs. My aim is to make the studio feel like it is the inside of an asylum, as if the audience are visitors who have been allowed exclusive access – this will hopefully make them uncomfortable as they are forced to witness DORA and PERSEPHONE’s descent into madness up-close-and-personal.

THE ROLES

2f or 4f

PERSEPHONE / PORPH – female, lighter in tone, comical.

DORA / DORPH – female, darker in tone, comical.

A challenging but rewarding project for accomplished female actors. There are options in the playing of the two characters. Both women age by fifty years and are traditionally played by female actors in their 20’s – their age at the beginning of the play as DORA and PERSEPHONE.

However, they could equally be played by female actors in their 60’s/70’s – the age they are as DORPH and PORPH. In fact, I see no reason why they couldn’t be played by female actors of any age, as long as they are the same age.

There is also the option that the cast could expand to four actors; two young and two older, so that there is no doubling/ageing up.

Scripts are available now from the Box Office.

AUDITION PIECES

DORA – Scene One, Scene Thirteen

PERSEPHONE – Scene Three, Scene Seven

BOTH – Scene Five, Scene Sixteen

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Contact Harry on email:

Audition Notice: The 39 Steps

Audition Closed

Due to a change in our current season, we are pleased to announce a production of The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow. This Olivier Award winning stage adaptation, based on John Buchan’s gripping whodunit—notably filmed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1935— enjoyed a 5 year run in London.

Nothing is cut from this hilarious and spectacular version of Britain’s most spellbinding thriller. Legendary scenes include the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape onto the Forth Bridge, the most theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged and the death-defying (well nearly!) finale at the London Palladium.

With just 4 actors sharing around one hundred and thirty nine roles, it promises to be the a comedic tour de force!!

CAST
• Richard Hanney – sophisticated, a man-about-town sort of fellah
• Annabella Schmit/Pamela/Margaret
• Two actors who play all the other parts!

Scripts are available from the Box Office now.

Audition Notice: Pride and Prejudice (adapted by Sara Pascoe from the novel by Jane Austen)

Audition Dates
  • 2nd March 2020 at 7:45 pm
  • 4th March 2020 at 7:45 pm
Performance Dates
Monday 22nd to Saturday 27th June 2020
Rehearsals
Mondays & Wednesdays

Pride and Prejudice (adapted by Sara Pascoe from the novel by Jane Austen)

 

Audition dates: Monday 2nd and Wednesday 4th March

Rehearsal nights: Mondays and Wednesdays

Performance dates: Monday 22nd to Saturday 27th June

For our final production of the season there is a great opportunity to take part in a dramatised version of one of the classic stories in English literature. It demands a large cast with several minor roles as well as the more well-known ones, so do come along and join us at auditions. Depending upon who we have, there may be some doubling up of parts and there are a couple of ball scenes in which most people will appear. As a guide, brief character descriptions follow:

 

The Bennet family:

Mr Bennet – middle aged, long suffering head of the household

Mrs Bennet – his wife whose main aim in life is to marry off her five daughters

The daughters (Jane, Lizzie, Mary, Kitty and Lydia) – in the novel their age ranges are from 16 to 22, but there can be some leeway here and playing age is what is important. Jane & Lizzie are the sensible ones, Mary the quiet one whilst Kitty and Lydia are “two of the silliest girls in all of Christendom”.

 

Other Main characters:

Mr Darcy – good looking but brooding, playing age about 30

Mr Bingley – the Bennets’ neighbour, smitten with Jane, playing age about 30

Mr Wickham – a dashing soldier but a thoroughly bad egg, playing age about 30

Lady Catherine – self opinionated lady of the manor for whom self conviction is a birthright, a mature woman

Reverend Collins – Lady C’s protege. Obsequious to the last. Playing age about 30 but loads of flexibility here

Charlotte – a good friend of Lizzie so of a similar playing age.

 

Others:

Mr & Mrs Gardiner – Mrs Bennet’s brother and sister-in-law, so of similar playing age

Miss Bingley – sister of Mr Bingley, playing age a tad younger than her brother

Mrs Hurst – Miss Bingley’s friend, so of a similar playing age

Miss De Bourgh – Lady Catherine’s neice, so playing age late teens to mid-twenties

Miss Darcy – youger sister of Mr Darcy.

 

Books will be available a couple of weeks prior to auditions so do come along. I’d love to see you for this exciting venture!

Brian Seal

Audition Notice: Urinetown – The Musical

Audition Closed

The Bancroft Players present…

Urinetown – The Musical
Book & Lyrics by Greg Kotis
Music & Lyrics by Mark Hollmann

Director: Julian Newman Turner
Musical Director: Charlie Wakely
Choreographer: Katie Milward

Audition dates: Tuesday 21st & Thursday 23rd January 2020
Production dates: Monday 11th to Saturday 16th May 2020
(Matinee on the 16th)

Rehearsals: Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Sunday Mornings.
(Possibility of some Fridays if needed)

Audition pack

The following link has the details for the singing portion of the auditions and a PDF copy of the book. It’ll tell you which song to prepare for each character as well as the score and an MP3 to listen to.

DOWNLOAD PACK HERE

PLEASE NOTE:
You may be interested in one specific part but we would really like to encourage you to be open to play other parts we may think you are suitable for should you not get the specific part you want.

About Urinetown – The Musical

A depletion of the Earth’s water supply has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The privilege to pee is regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging for one of humanity’s most basic needs. From amongst the people, a hero has risen who will lead them to freedom.

A grand, mischievous love letter to the conventions of musical theatre, Urinetown depicts a world wracked by ecological disaster, caught in the throes of corporate greed, and ultimately toppled by the best intentions.

Praised by critics for reinvigoration the contemporary musical, Urinetown is one of the most distinctive, intelligent and jubilant theatrical experiences of the twenty-first century.

From the director…

“Don’t be put off by the title!! – That’s the first thing I find myself saying whenever I talk about this show 🙂

‘Urinetown – The Musical’ is a wonderfully funny, high energy, visual treat of a show that is suitable for all the family… well… almost sutabale. It has a large ensemble cast with some wonderful crazy characters for an actor to get their teeth into (just look at the character names below!). There are no small parts in this show. I see it very much as an ensemble cast with a lot of the actors on stage a lot of the time, if not then singing in the wings.

The show is set in the not too distant future, a parallel universe, a time not too distant from our own, a world…. well… you get the idea! I am fully embracing the comic book/graphic novel world and the visual and physical style of the production will fully reflect that. The characters require a large stylised form of acting and comedy timing. I expect the cast to be off book early so we can really get stuck in to the physicality of the performance.

Strong character acting, singing and high energy are required plus the ability to move in time… or even dance (but being a great dancer is not essential).

Getting this show to the slick level it needs to be is going to be a lot of work and require a big commitment over the 3 and a bit months rehearsal period but it’ll be a lot of fun and the opportunity to be part of something quite different!

Urinetown – The Musical will be the show everyone is talking about in 2020”

Character breakdown

LEADS

Officer Lockstock
Vocal Range: Bass/ Baritone
Narrator of the show and leader of the Police. A figure of authority. A key role. He is a symbol of police brutality and suppression by means of force.
Prominent in 5 songs

Little Sally
Vocal Range: Mezzo Soprano
A poor street urchin who is also co- narrator of the show. Needs to be smallish in stature because she is the ‘child’ of the cast. Needs to look young in stage age. She is innocent initially, but it becomes clear she is easily persuaded by mob coercion. A key role.
Prominent in 3 songs

Bobby Strong
Vocal Range: Tenor
The “Hero” of the show and the assistant-custodian at the poorest urinal in town – Amenity#9. Bobby is the leader of the poor through the rebellion and is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in. Falls in love with Hope.
Prominent in 8 songs

Hope Cladwell
Vocal Range: Soprano
Cladwell’s good hearted daughter. Fresh out of the Most Expensive University of the World and about to work at her father’s company. A naïve girl who believes there is good in everyone. Falls in love with Bobby. She lives in ignorant bliss, but has a strong heart. Prominent in 6 songs.

Caldwell B Cladwell
Baritone or Bass Baritone
CEO of Urine Good Company (UGC). He is an unscrupulous capitalist and the main antagonist. He uses his employees and police force for his personal bidding.
Prominent in 5 songs

Penelope Pennywise
Vocal Range: Mezzo Soprano
The proprietor of Public Amenity Number # 9, the poorest urinal in town. A Black sheep, she betters her public standing by leaching onto Cladwell. She is an intense realist and is ruthless in her attack when it comes to earning her living. She possesses a plot-twisting secret. A gutsy female character.
Prominent in 5 songs.

ENSEMBLE/SUPPORTING

Senator Fipp
Vocal Range: Bass
A corrupt senator who takes bribes and lacks moral values. A creepy character who seems to lurk in all the wrong places.
Prominent in 3 songs

Josephine ‘ Old Ma’ Strong
Vocal Range: Mezzo Soprano
Bobby’s strong-willed mother. She is a poor woman who frequents Public Amenity Number# 9. Prominent in 4 songs.

Mr McQueen
Vocal Range: Tenor
Cladwell’s head lackey and corporate “yes”-man. He is always following in Cladwell’s footsteps. Too weak to step out of the shadow.
Prominent in 3 songs.

Officer Barrel
Vocal Range: Bass Height: Short or medium.
Officer Lockstock’s right hand man. He is his partner in all things criminal. Blindly follows orders and does little thinking for himself.
Prominent in 3 songs

Hot Blades Harry / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Tenor Height:
A dangerous and unpredictable man- a sadist! He is willing to incite violence to get what he wants.
Prominent in 3 songs.

Little Becky Two-Shoes / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Soprano
A disturbed girl who has been led astray by the bad influences of city-life. Follows Hot-Blades Harry.
Prominent in 3 songs.

Soupy Sue / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Soprano
A woman who has grown tired of desperation. Angry, yet affectionate.
Prominent in 2 songs.

Tiny Tom / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Bass or Baritone
He believes himself to be younger than he actually is and appears eccentric due to his child-like nature.
Prominent in 2 songs.

Robby The Stockfish / Ensemble
Age: Open Vocal Range: Baritone

Billy Boy Bill / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Tenor
Prominent in 2 songs.

Joseph ‘Old Man’ Strong / Ensemble
Vocal Range: Tenor
Bobby’s rebellious father. Bobby gets all his strength from his father and they have a close relationship.

For more info and any questions email:

or contact us via social media at facebook.com/TheQMT

————————————————————

URINETOWN was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc., and Lauren Mitchell

This amateur production is presented by arrangement with
Music Theatre International (Europe)
All authorised performance materials are also supplied by MTI Europe
www.mtishows.co.uk

Audition Notice: The One by Vicky Jones

Audition Closed

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.

The Roles:

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.

Any questions email Rob on

Audition Notice: Commencing/Nine

Audition Closed

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.

Commencing
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
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.

 

The Roles:
Commencing

  • 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.

 

Nine

  • 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.

The Details:
Contact: Andy Darley on 07905 628554 or .

Audition Notice: Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Audition Closed

**PLEASE NOTE**

Sunday 20th October Auditions are for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth ONLY!

 

Download a copy now – Macbeth Script for QMT Feb 2020

 

THE VISION FOR THIS PLAY:

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.

 

SCRIPT:

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.

 

THE ROLES:

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

Audition Notice: Cinderella

Audition Closed

Directed by Richard and Dee Lovelock

Performance Dates

Friday 6th to Sunday 15th December
Shows on Fridays, 2 x Saturdays, 1 x Sundays

Audition Dates

  • Adults (aged 16-116) – Monday 2nd and Wednesday 4th September at 7.45pm
  • Children (aged up to 15) – Sunday 8th September at 10:30am

Rehearsals

  • Rehearsals for adults will be on Mondays and Wednesdays, Mondays will be more singing / dancing and Wednesday will be more for lib.
  • Rehearsals for children will be on Saturdays 2:30-4:30
  • …and full commitment in the week before we go up please!

We need numerous Villagers and Ball Guests of all ages who can smile – singing and dancing is also required.

Continue reading Audition Notice: Cinderella»

Audition Notice: Mojo

Audition Closed

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!

Continue reading Audition Notice: Mojo»

Audition Notice: Radiant Vermin

Audition Closed

By Philip Ridley
Directed by Matt Gray

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”.

Continue reading Audition Notice: Radiant Vermin»