Audition Notice: SHIRLEY VALENTINE by Willy Russell

Audition Closed

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


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

Audition Closed

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.


  • 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

Audition Closed

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

Audition Notice: Bull by Mike Bartlett

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Auditions will be by appointment ONLY – please do not turn up to the theatre without an appointment.

Directed by Maisie Brooker

This is a NT award winning, razor-sharp play about the fine line between office politics and playground bullying, Bull offers ringside seats as three employees fight to keep their jobs.

The play is all set in real time following Tony, Isobel and Thomas as they wait in a meeting room to hear from their boss (Carter) who out of the three will be made redundant. Tony and Isobel use this time to play mind games with Thomas, baiting him with every line until Thomas hits breaking point, just in time for Carter to arrive.

Maisie says she loves this play because it’s funny yet so uncomfortable, you watch it constantly hoping for the best but your hopes are shot down at every corner. Also love how it builds beautifully from using tiny bits of malice and small comments about appearance “Is that the suit you’ve chosen? Mmm” to a full blown attack on Thomas and his life. Finally, let’s get deep for a sec, as someone who has personally been bullied by an adult as an adult I feel it’s important to shine a light on situations like this and understand that playground politics carry on way into adulthood.

Running time: about 1 hour

Characters and acting ages:

  • Isobel (F/20s-30s) Powerhouse, stinging, bully.
  • Tony (M/20s-30s) Smug, athletic, bully.
  • Thomas (M/Late 20s-40s) Desperate, sympathetic, ambitious.
  • Carter (M/F/40s-60s)- The Boss, straight talking, assertive.

About auditioning and rehearsing in our Covid-secure theatre:

Auditions will be by appointment ONLY– so you will need to email Maisie to say that you are interested in this play and Maisie will confirm the time for you to arrive at the theatre. All those entering the theatre must comply with our Covid-secure requirements and a copy of these will be emailed to you before you attend the auditions.

Likewise, when rehearsing the cast and others involved must comply with our Covid-secure requirements. These will be made clear to everyone before rehearsals begin.

If you are interested in auditioning:

Please email: or phone Maisie on 07887 930726 for more information. Maisie is also on Facebook if you want to contact her there.

Extracts of the passages that will be used in auditions:

These will be available on request to those who are interested in auditioning. In the NHB published script the extracts are pages 5 to 10 for Thomas, Isobel and Toby and the for Carter pages 33 to 35.

Audition Notice: The Wind In The Willows

Audition Closed

These auditions will now be held via Zoom.

The adventures of Kenneth Graham’s much-loved characters are brought to life in this brand new socially-distanced stage version.

Meet Mole and Ratty, Badger and Toad as they try to bring order to the wood. Of course, Toad is his own worst enemy, and in the end the gallant band have to fight the weasels to save Toad Hall.

This is a brilliant, timeless tale that will be played by a versatile, imaginative group of six actors. Why not come along to audition – we’d love to see you and you’ll have lots of fun.

If you are interested in auditioning please email and you will be sent an electronic copy of the script.

The auditions will be held on the morning of Sunday 15th November and the evening of Monday 16th November. Auditions will now be held online, via Zoom.

Final performance dates to be confirmed.

Director: Sam Powell

Audition Notice: Heisenberg – The Uncertainty Principle

Audition Closed


By Simon Stephens

Directed by Keith Swainston



Thursday 11th of June at 7:45pm



23rd and 25th June 2020



Tuesday 22nd September to Saturday 26th September – please note these dates are provisional at this time and will be confirmed before rehearsals commence.




In this uncertain world, who can predict what brings people together? When two strangers meet by chance amidst the bustle of a crowded London train station, their lives are changed forever. Multi-award-winning British playwright Simon Stephens’ play explores the uncertain and oDen comical sparring match that is human connection. Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle received its premiere at Wyndham’s Theatre, London, on 9th October 2017 starring Annie-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham as Georgie and Alex.



  • Georgie Burns is forty-two years old. She is from New Jersey.
  • Alex Priest is seventy-five years old. He is a London Butcher.


The play is set in present–day London. The age of the characters is a guide only, but the age-gap is crucial to the play. Casting will depend on how well the actors audition and look together. The rehearsal process for this play will involve a considerable amount of character development workshopping as well as the traditional blocking and line-running procedure.



Scripts can be borrowed and returned to The Queen Mother Theatre by arrangement – register your interest with Keith and a script will be made available to you.



The Bancroft Players will at all ;mes be following Government Guidelines for social distancing. The Rehearsals following the auditions may commence online initially and then move to The Queen Mother Theatre. There will be a published risk assessment for the theatre. Deep cleaning of the areas of the theatre used will be carried out before and after rehearsals. Performances in The Studio will be live and social distancing of the audience will be observed. This will involve special seating arrangements which comply with Government Guidelines in force at the time.



Contact: Keith Swainston on 07799 803623 or

Audition Notice: Airswimming by Charlotte Jones

Audition Closed

Airswimming by Charlotte Jones

Directed by Harry Harding



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.


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.


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


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.


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.


DORA – Scene One, Scene Thirteen

PERSEPHONE – Scene Three, Scene Seven

BOTH – Scene Five, Scene Sixteen


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!!

• 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 Closed

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.



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.


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


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.


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


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