You do not need to prepare anything in advance. Auditions will take the form of improvisations and reading scenes from the script, handed to you on the night. I am looking for actors who can express a narrative using more than just the words they say, who are committed to creating believable, sympathetic, fully rounded characters.
Some characters (five of the nine female parts) need to be able to hold a tune. For those actors up for contention for those particular roles at the recalls, there will be a basic singing audition on the Saturday; again, you do not need to prepare anything and will be briefed in advance. Please be assured I am looking first and foremost for actors for the roles, and that acting talent more than singing ability will influence casting decisions.
Because there will be some singing and dancing for some characters in the play, it would be really helpful if actors can list on their preference forms if they have any prior experience in these areas and feel comfortable doing basic singing/dancing on stage.
Date: 14th, 15th & 16th January. Please come on whichever day suits you Time: 6.30pm (we will start promptly!)
Venue: Clean Break Studios, 2 Patshull Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2LB. The nearest tube is Kentish Town
Recalls will be on Saturday 18th January from 10.30am to 2.30pm. You will be called on Friday 17th if we’d like to see you again.
2. Show Dates
We’ll be performing from Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th April at The Lion & Unicorn Theatre in Kentish Town. The shows will start at 7.30pm and you’ll need to be at the theatre at least an hour beforehand. The dress rehearsal will be on Monday 31st March. You will need to be free from midday onwards, possibly all day.
Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons/ evenings. All rehearsals will be in central London.
NB: The only character in the play with a given name is Leonardo.
Bride and Bridegroom are to be married – despite the reservations of Bridegroom’s Mother, who is still grieving for her murdered husband and son.
But the Bride has a secret. Her first love, Leonardo, is still desperately in love with her, and she with him. As the play opens, both have tried to deny their passion for each other, with Leonardo now married and with a son.
Yet the shaky peace will not hold. When the news of the Bride’s forthcoming wedding reaches Leonardo, he takes to riding out across the fields at night to see her. Theirs is a love that will not die. Bride has a decision to make – one that will prove to have unimaginable consequences…
My vision for the play is predicated on casting actors who will find and embody their characters completely, fully embracing the complexity and simmering passions of their roles, and creatively and emotionally building relationships and histories. Rehearsals will take the script as a starting point and source to create back stories, which we’ll build on through improvisation and detailed character work. I want every character to know where they’ve come from and what they’ve done and felt in their life right up to the moment the play opens, when the audience joins us to see this small section of a much bigger life picture.
Our setting is a hot summer in the Spanish countryside. An indeterminate era, but the people are peasant country folk from a simpler time than our own, from a rural farming community. The set will be framed by imposing tree shapes to create an ethereal and creepy atmosphere, evoking classic fairy tales and papercut silhouettes; an encroaching forest that, eventually, swallows us whole.
5. Cast Breakdown
14 actors (9 women, 5 men)
There will be no doubling up of parts, enabling each actor to take their sole character on their own emotional journey through the play each night. This is very much an ensemble piece of theatre, with every actor having a decent amount to do in the play, and a unique back story to bring to life.
Bride (F, 20s – her age is given as 21-turning-22 in the script)
Strong, passionate, desperate, dutiful at times, cannot help but feel the burden of her heavy secret. Full of conflicting desires. Will she follow her heart?
Leonardo (M, 20s)
Classic brooding hero. Alpha male. Passionate, capable, strong, wilful, sexy – and charismatic as hell.
Mother (F, over 30)
Mother to the Bridegroom. Her beloved husband and other son were murdered and she is still absolutely beholden to her grief. She eats, breathes, drinks, sleeps and dreams their deaths. She’s lonely. Her rage at her loss is ever-present beneath the surface, an incendiary touch paper just waiting to be lit.
Bridegroom (M, 20s)
A fun, funny, likeable man full of joie de vivre and infectious enthusiasm, with a ready smile and an open heart.
Neighbour (F, over 30)
Neighbour to the Mother and apparent friends – but there is no love lost between these two. Neighbour is a terrible gossip, proud and supercilious, always sniffing around for the next juicy titbit of news. There’s opportunity for this to be a comedic role in places.
Wife (F, 20s)
Wife to Leonardo. She is a cousin of the Bride. She has a baby with her husband and another child on the way. She cares deeply for her spouse and cannot understand why he is increasingly distant. She can be somewhat scared and timid, but has reserves of courage. The Wife sings a lullaby to her baby (a duet with her mother) in the play, so the actress will need to be able to hold a tune on stage.
Mother-in-Law (F, over 30)
Mother to Wife; Mother-in-Law to Leonardo. She is your classic ‘mother-in-law’ character on paper – interfering, nosy, fussy, sharp, disapproving, strong-willed. But there is always another side to the story: her husband left her and she fears the same fate awaits her daughter… She sings the duet lullaby with the Wife and will need to be able to hold a tune.
Father (M, over 30)
Father to the Bride. Hardworking, kindly family man, cares deeply for his daughter and for his family and farm, wanting them to thrive into the future. A peacekeeper. Yet his wife never loved him, and he brought their daughter up alone.
Servant (F, over 30)
Servant to the Bride and her Father. She is a mother figure to the Bride and has worked in the family for years. She runs the family home like clockwork and takes responsibility for everything – whether organising the wedding feast or doing the Bride’s hair on the morning of her wedding. She can be excitable, stern, romantic, bawdy, cutting, clever, protective. While she and the Bride have their ups and downs, the Bride trusts her implicitly. The Servant sings in the play so will need to be able to hold a tune.
First Youth (M, 20s-30s)
Essentially the Best Man to the Bridegroom. Full of energy and bon viveur, he makes the stage come alive whenever he’s in a scene. He’s the first to get the party started. He’s also incredibly loyal. I’m ideally looking for an actor who can also dance a bit – or has rhythm and is willing to learn.
First Girl (F, 20s)
A ball of energy, First Girl is flirtatious and sexy, opinionated and fun. She is loud and carefree. I’m looking for an actress who can also dance and sing.
Second Girl (F, 20s)
A quiet and thoughtful girl with stories and emotions swimming in her eyes, Second Girl is a friend to the Bride. She is also secretly in love with the Bridegroom – but doesn’t have many lines to convey this, so I’m looking for an exceptionally expressive actress for this role. Second Girl will also need to be able to hold a tune.
Guest (M, 20s-30s)
A bit of a bumbling wedding guest on the Father’s side, keen to get involved but somehow always slightly behind the times. There’s an opportunity here for an actor to craft a gem of a character study, with chances to find humour and off-script narratives for the role.
Beggar Woman (F, any age)
This character is on stage throughout the play. She is the personification of Death. She needs to intrigue and frighten the audience. She has a chilling, luxurious, lengthy monologue where she comes to the fore, as well as some other spoken scenes, and is key to the climax of the play. I’m looking for an actress who can emote strongly and be absolutely charismatic in this icy, ethereal role. She is weak and vulnerable at the beginning but strong and powerful by the end. The Beggar Woman is comparable to the evil witch in Sleeping Beauty – an uninvited malevolent presence always on the sidelines, who eventually takes centre stage.