Winter 2013 – Hamlet Auditions

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Directed by Kat Wootton

Tuesday 26 – Saturday 30 November at The Lion & Unicorn Theatre

1. Newcomers Meeting

Each season we hold a Newcomers Meeting where the directors will tell you more about their plays and the audition process. Its a great way to find out more about the season and of course you can quiz the directors and committee too.

Date: Thursday 12th September
Time: Join us from 7pm for a drink. The meeting will start at 7.30pm
Venue: The White Swan, 20 Farringdon Street, Farringdon, EC4A 4AB

2. Auditions

You do not need to register for auditions. Please prepare a Shakespearean monologue. From Hamlet is fine. Any age/gender is fine (if a 23 year old female wants to do a Lear monologue, please do!) 1-2min length please. Recalls will be reading monologues and scenes.

Date: 17th, 18th & 19th September. Please come on whichever day suits you
Time: 6.30pm for a 7pm start
Venue: Clean Break Studios, 2 Patshull Road, Kentish Town, NW5 2LB

Recalls will be on Saturday 21st September from 10am to 2pm. You will be called on Friday 20th if we’d like to see you again.3. Show Dates

We’ll be performing from Tuesday 26th to Saturday 30th November 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 25th November. You will need to be free from midday onwards, possibly all day.

4. Rehearsals

Rehearsals will be on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Sunday afternoons/evenings. All rehearsals will be in central London.

5. Synopsis

It’s ‘Hamlet’. You know the story! This production is a modernisation where Hamlet will be played as a teenaged girl. Hamlet’s father dies, and her mother Gertrude marries her uncle Claudius very shortly afterwards. Her father appears to her as a ghost and tells her to avenge his death – her uncle is her father’s murderer. Hamlet, already grief-stricken and full of existential angst, tries to determine what’s right, and do her duty. Claudius meanwhile schemes to keep her under control, or to get rid of her, getting two of her school friends Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to spy on her. She pretends to go crazy to hide her planning, only her best friend Horatio knows the truth. Her affair with her childhood friend Ophelia (disapproved of by Ophelia’s family – her father and close advisor to Claudius, Polonius, and her older brother Laertes) provides both an excuse for her insanity, and an additional source of anguish. Hamlet arranges to have a play performed before Claudius, his reaction to it convinces her of his guilt. Gertrude, shocked by Hamlet’s behaviour, arranges to speak with her privately, but spied on by Polonius. Hamlet turns the conversation and berates Gertude then, hearing Polonius and thinking it’s Claudius, stabs and kills him. Polonius’ death at her lover’s hand drives Ophelia mad. Claudius sends Hamlet away to be killed. In his absence, Ophelia dies, and Laertes, hearing of his losses, is furious and wants to challenge Hamlet himself. Hamlet escapes Cladius’ attempt to kill him and returns home to find his lover dead. She agrees to fight Laertes, and Cladius plots a way to have her be killed during their ‘friendly’ bout. Poisoned blades and drinks switch hands, and Gertrude, Laertes, Claudius, and Hamlet are killed in the fight. Horatio alone is left to explain.

The original text (with cuts for time), will be played as current day. The focus will be on the interpersonal relationships and power dynamics, with the international politics as a muted threat in the background.

6. Cast Breakdown

I am very open in casting – gender/race/age and so on all very loose so the ages listed below are only a guide. I’m looking for people with a passion for the roles and a strong understanding of Shakespearean language (and the latter can be taught, I promise)

Hamlet (F, 15)

Intelligent, grieving, anxious, in the midst of an existential crisis.

Ophelia (F, 15 – will consider M)

Dutiful yet quietly rebellious, clever, sympathetic.

Horatio (M, 17 – will consider F)

Dedicated, studious, loyal.

Gertrude (F, 30+)

Experienced, pragmatic, guarded.

Claudius (M, 30+)

Powerful, hedonistic, manipulative.

Polonius (M, late 30s – will consider F)

Pedantic, bumper-sticker wise, adheres to structure.

Laertes (M, 20s – will consider F)

Brash, proud, passionate.

Ghost/ Player King aka First Player (M, 30+)

Marcellus/ Player Queen/ Gentleman/ Messenger (open)

Bernardo/ Rosencrantz/ Gravedigger 1 (open)

Francisco/ Guildenstern/ Gravedigger 2 (open)

Lucianus (player)/ Prologue/ Priest/ attendant/ Osric (open)

7. Crew

I’m looking for the following crew members;

– Set designer
– Costume designer
– Lighting designer
– Lighting & sound operator
– Stage Manager

If you’re interested in being in the crew please e-mail