The setting of this play is a schoolroom near Manchester where an evening class of budding comics congregate for a final briefing from their tutor before facing a London agent.
This play is a surgical incision into the ‘art’ of comedy, I have wanted to produce this masterpiece for decades. And decades and the art of comedy in the UK has changed dramatically over those years but comedy’s essence remains fundamentally the same. This play shows us all how comedy is shaped through cruelty, pain and suffering.
I cannot express how excited I am to direct this play. And the reading will give me a good idea who is as excited about play as myself. The cast and a few points are as follows :-
Club Secretary – 50’s – Dour and unknowingly funny.
Caretaker – 40-60 – forthright, good at physical comedy.
The Ballad of Lady Bessy by David Fletcher
DIRECTOR: David Fletcher
READING: 7.30 pm, FRIDAY 23 June, 2017
Sunday 28 May 2017 at 3pm, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents.
Directed by Tim Willis
Musical Direction by James Suckling
Show rehearses: October – December 2017, Plays: 6 -16 December 2017
Please note some music and dance rehearsals may also take place during September 2017.
Gypsy is a 1959 musical loosely based on the memoirs of Gypsy Rose Lee, the famous striptease artist, and on her mother, Rose, whose name has become synonymous with “the ultimate show business mother.” It follows the dreams and efforts of Rose to raise two daughters to perform onstage and casts an affectionate eye on the hardships of show business life. The show contains many songs that have become popular standards, including “Everything’s Coming up Roses”, “Together (Wherever We Go)”, “You Gotta Get a Gimmick”, “Let Me Entertain You” and “All I Need Is the Girl”. The show has been referred to as the greatest American musical by numerous critics and writers, and was famously revived in the West End to critical acclaim in 2015 in a production featuring Imelda Staunton as ‘Rose’.
Characters and playing ages
Rose – the ultimate “stage mother”, aggressive and domineering. 35- 60+
Herbie – a candy salesman and Rose’s manager. 35 – 60+
Louise/Gypsy Rose Lee –transforms from the shy Louise, into the seductive Burlesque stripper. 18 – 30
June –the older version of Baby June, frustrated with her mother’s domination. 18 – 30
Tulsa – singing and dancing member of the “Farm Boys”. Elopes with Louise. 18 – 30
Tessie Tura –experienced and wise burlesque performer. 30+
Mazeppa – bold and brassy bugle playing burlesque stripper.30+
Electra – ditsy burlesque stripper. 30+
Many non-singing roles are available including Uncle Jacko, Mr. Goldstein, Mr. Kringelein, auditioning children, stagehands, Strippers, and Showgirls. All ages
In addition to doubling with some of the roles indicated above, a small chorus ensemble of male and female actors with singing and dance skills is also required
The audition process will consist of group song and acting workshop, which will be followed by individual singing slots*. Please be prepared to stay all afternoon if required
* If possible, please prepare 2 short, contrasting pieces. You may not necessarily be asked to perform both, but ideally should be prepared to do so if required. Please ensure you bring sheet music with you.
PLEASE NOTE THAT UNDER-16s, INCLUDING THE ROLES OF BABY JUNE, BABY LOUISE, NEWSBOYS, ENASEMBLE AND ‘CHOWSIE’ WILL BE AUDITIONED AT A LATER DATE – DETAILS WILL BE POSTED ON THE THEATRE WEBSITE SHORTLY
Sunday 11 June 2017 at 2:30pm, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
GOD OF CARNAGE
by Yasmina Reza; translated by Christopher Hampton
Directed by Sue Moore
We shall start rehearsals late November with two weeks off across Christmas and New Year, reconvening early January.
Plays 17th – 27th January, 2018
Please note there will be Reading for this production on Sunday 21st May, 2:30pm
The God of Carnage premiered at the Gielgud Theatre, London, in March 2008 and won the Tony Award and Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 2009. Christopher Hampton’s translation has been praised as a triumph.
The God of Carnage relates an evening in the lives of two couples, who meet to discuss a playground incident between their sons. The four of them agree to discuss the incident civilly, but, as the evening wears on, the cracks show and the polite veneer breaks down. The French entente cordiale collapses and all hell breaks loose.
Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage is a bitter domestic comedy, in which two couples are reduced to squabbling infants.
The characters are between 35-45 years old.
Alain Reille: An arrogant and cynical lawyer, treating the Vallon’s living room as his office, constantly taking calls. He is in the middle of trying to cover up a scandal. Reluctant to be there and indifferent to the issue being discussed, he gradually loses his cool.
Annette Reille: Chic and witty, arguably the sanest of the four, later goes wild and deranged in a frenzy of frustration.
Veronique Vallon: A writer with liberal values. Something of a moral crusader. Calm at the beginning and ends up roaring like a lioness, swigging alcohol and brandishing a chair, revealing the extent of her tired marriage
Michel Vallon: A would be pacifist and on the face of it grounded and no nonsense, is revealed as lacking principles; a bit of a bruiser with no moral compass.
Please contact Sue Moore on 07970029257 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Sunday 11 June 2017 at 2:30pm, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
by Moira Buffini
Directed by Gus MacDonald
Rehearsals will start early January 2018.
Plays 21 February to 03 March 2018
Please note there will be Reading for this production on Friday 26th May, 7:30pm
Handbagged is the West End comedy by the British playwright Moira Buffini. A playful examination of the relationship between Elizabeth II and Margaret Thatcher, it is a widely acclaimed fresh, exciting and intelligent piece of theatre which moves from comedy slapstick to moments of almost unbearable pathos. There are six characters all of whom interact with the audience.
Q: Older Queen Elizabeth
T: Older Thatcher
Actor 1: Various parts, including Neil Kinnock and Nancy Reagan
Actor 2: Various parts, including Denis Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington
Liz: Younger Queen Elizabeth
Mags: Younger Thatcher
The two elder statespersons are ladies in their 60s. The two younger statespersons are, ideally, in their 40s.
Actor 1, male, twenties/early thirties and Actor 2, male, in his 50s.
Please contact Gus MacDonald on 07885546442 for further details.
Sunday 23 June 2017 at 7:30pm, Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa
THE BALLAD OF LADY BESSY
Written and Directed by David Fletcher
This is a short play so, on 23 rd June, there will be a reading of the whole play at 7:30pm followed by auditions. All are welcome to attend the reading, even if not auditioning.
Rehearsals will begin in early October.
Plays in the Loft Studio in the week beginning 13 November 2017.
This play is a very different perspective on some of the characters of Shakespeare’s Richard III and the 2013 BBC drama The White Queen. The central character Bessy is Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV and the wife of Henry VII. History sees her as a dynastic pawn who accepted her role with meekness, but there is one source that paints a very different picture – The Ballad of Lady Bessy. In this ballad, Bessy is an intelligent, resourceful and ambitious young woman who plays a significant role in Henry Tudor’s seizure of the crown. The play reflects on the role of women in the turbulent world of usurpation, Princes in the Tower, and the establishment of the Tudor dynasty, and the effect that such events have on their personal relationships.
The play spans 12 years so there is flexibility on the ages.
King Edward IV: a charismatic and powerful king, but suffering from the illness that will kill him. 40s.
Elizabeth Woodville, his Queen: An ambitious and dynamic woman who struggles to accept the loss of power following her husband’s death. 40s/50s.
Elizabeth of York (Bessy), their daughter: Fearless, resourceful and spectacularly intelligent. 17-30.
King Henry VII: Intelligent and impressive, but in a quieter way than Edward IV. 20s/30s
Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII: Cold, but commanding and determined. 40s/50s.
Thomas Bourchier, Archbishop of Canterbury: Gracious and wise, but out of his depth in this volatile political world. 60+
Please contact David Fletcher on 07974 108883 or e-mail email@example.com for a script or further details.