Technology can sometimes be a cruel mistress and the best laid plans of Mike and men can go awry. Thus, though I have managed to scan the relevant audition pieces for the weekend after next I have not yet been able to get them all online. It is my hope that this glitch will be sorted out over next 48 hours but, in the meantime, should you wish to have a look at any of the pieces then please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will forward them onto you. I hasten to add, it is not necessary to have looked at anything in advance of next Sunday, nor is there any expectation that parts have to be learnt but I know that some folk like to get a taster beforehand.
To remind you, the auditions will take place on Sunday 10th November in St. Francis Church Hall at 7:30 p.m. and will probably take an hour or so. Again here is a list of the characters with a little more information:
(Ages are approximate and there is some flexibility. They are playing ages)
•May Hassall (late 20s – 30s), the central character, is a fierce individualist, with her fruit stall near the Mills and plans to build her business. Strong-minded, organized and determined to succeed, she is unsettled by the feelings she has for her cousin and lodger who sees her ‘of good heart and splendid appearance’. The portrait of her is full of subtlety and deep feeling.
•Tom Hackford (19 – mid/late 20s), May’s second cousin. A dreamy idealist, with an artistic temperament and strong socialist principles. He’s an apprentice lithographer who supplements his income by helping May with the stall. He signs up early and quickly enjoys the sense of comradeship and community that he feels could augur a better form of society. In love with May, but cannot find a way to help her accept her own love for him.
•Ralph (19 – mid/late 20s), a strong, amusing character, friend to Tom and in love with Eva. Through their relationship we see the changing sexual attitudes of the time.
•Eva Mason (19 – mid/late 20s), a farm girl and Ralph’s girlfriend, who moves into Town to takes over Tom’s role on the stall. A good listener, she becomes May’s confidante. Warm-hearted and genuine, this character has ‘a lovely voice’ and needs to sing a short solo.
•Sarah Harding (mid/late 20s), a married Mill worker and mother with plenty to contribute to the women’s companionship the longer the men are away. With her quips, particularly about May, her frank sexual frustration at missing her man, she brings an earthy sense of humour to the play – a strong comedic role.
•Bertha Treecott (18 – mid/late 20s), another mill worker who takes on a new job ‘on the Trams’ which develops her independence and character as she takes on the men at work. Cheeky and self-confident.
•Annie Boggis (late 30s – late 40s), Harassed, shrewish housewife – she takes out her frustration at the unfairness of ‘doing it all’ on her simple son. As the stress of looking after her young family increases she begins not to cope, breaking down as she realizes her man is unlikely to return.
•Arthur Boggis (late 30s – late 40s), Annie’s husband, a pigeon fancier and a deeply religious man. He lives his Christian principles through helping others and justifies his decision to join the army to fight by suggesting it is God’s will.
•Reggie (14/15) their son – a simple lad who’s always getting into scrapes. He tries to dodge his mother’s anger and the belt, but doesn’t always succeed. He ultimately has to grow up fast in the absence of his dad.
•CSM Rivers (late 30s – 50s, no specific accent)– a regular soldier and Company Sergeant Major. A shadowy figure who comes to recruit and train the men who enlist and who gets under the skin of the community.
As stated in the previous post I am aiming for appropriate accents though these will be optional during the audition process, it is much more important to concentrate on what is being said- the accent that it is said in an be worked on afterwards. If you do want to check out some Lancashire accents though there are plenty of vids on YouTube or, if it’s your thing, ‘Coronation Street’ could give a heads up or two!
I also feel it appropriate to mention at this point that, as said in the extended notes above, the actress playing Eva will be expected to sing briefly and should be able to do so with some competence. Also, the actor playing Ralph must be willing to do a bath scene. Of course, modesty will be spared and appropriate garments will be worn in the bath but I thought it worth flagging at this juncture.
Should you wish to audition and not be able to make it or if you need any further info then please do not hesitate to contact me at the aforementioned email@example.com. Otherwise I look forward to seeing a few of you next Sunday.
Have a great weekend.