OPEN AUDITIONS FOR
A Comedy by Ronald Harwood
Director: Ray Virr
Thursday 17th May 2018 at 7.30pm and Sunday, 20th May 2018 at 2.30 pm at The Blackmore Theatre
Production Dates: Monday 24th – Saturday 29th September 2018 (including a matinee performance on the Saturday)
These auditions are open to both members and non-members of The Exmouth Players (CIO). Previous acting experience is not essential. Age is also immaterial. Just pop along, live and enjoy the experience.
Cecily, Reggie and Wilfred reside in a home for retired opera singers in Kent, England. Each year, on the tenth of October, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Jean, once married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva and refuses to sing. But the show must go on in this funny and poignant play.
“An unashamed – no, shameless – vehicle for four feisty old troupers whose task is to make us laugh a little, sigh a little and cry a little as they take us into the bittersweet world of facing up to age and mortality.” – The Independent
The action takes place in a retirement home for opera singers and brings together four stars of times past. They are persuaded to reprise their greatest triumph – the eponymous quartet from Rigoletto. However their failing voices mean that they will have to mime to their original recording.
The idea behind having early auditions (rehearsals start in July) is to give us time to include some “singing” rehearsals in the schedule to practice the miming of the quartet itself (there is, of course, no actual singing in the play). I intend to run the auditions as read throughs with all “auditionees” in the room sharing the read through as I feel this gives me a better feel for the individual performances.
For me this play is about quality and its enduring nature. Even though their skills have waned they still have a core of star quality and the performance enables this to show through. Imagine a battered old Rolls Royce sitting neglected at the back of an old garage. It no longer has the performance it had in its prime but at its core it is still a Roller and simply waits for someone to lavish a little care and attention to enable it to turn heads again.
Although the cast are all, by definition, of retirement age I would be happy to audition younger actors who can convincingly portray a person of more mature years.
Wilf: A larger than life character for whom age has reduced his social inhibitions but who is, at heart, a sensitive soul.
Reggie: School masterly but easily hurt and still carrying a torch for Jean to whom he was once very briefly married.
Cissy: A woman of ample proportions whose hold on reality is beginning to slip. Depending on casting we may need to do some padding here!
Jean: The biggest star of all of them during her career but one who has succumbed to the musicians equivalent of stage fright. However, she still manages to remain a Diva!
If you are unable to make either or both these audition dates but would like to be considered, you have any queries or would like to register your interest in borrowing a script (when available), please email firstname.lastname@example.org leaving your name and contact details. This information will then be passed to Ray Virr who will contact you direct.
Scripts are available on a loan and return basis at the Green Room in the Blackmore Theatre on every Friday evening from 7.30pm. Please ensure you return them once you have finished reading them so the next person can have the opportunity of reading the script before the auditions.