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News: Auditions

Updated: 15 November 2014

Sunday, 7 December


Open auditions for The Pitmen Painters – see below for further details.

Casting policy

It has been agreed by the Board, on the recommendation of the Artistic Management, that the Loft Theatre Company will continue its policy of holding auditions for all active members plus non-members (provided they agree to join as members before commencement of rehearsal, if cast).

Directors are free to contact whomsoever they wish in advance of an audition to invite them to read alongside others for a specific role, but any pre-casting must be done openly and must be approved by the Artistic Management in advance.

All casting considerations will be discussed between directors and members of the Artistic Management. Casting decisions will be notified to all those who attended the audition(s), and cast lists will be posted on the website.

The Pitmen Painters
by Lee Hall

Director: William Wilkinson
Production dates: 27 May – 6 June, 2015 (main house)

Audition: Sunday, 7 December
at 2.30pm at the theatre
(Coffee, registration and tours of the building for new members from 2pm)

This play, a true story, is probably one of the finest pieces of writing for many a decade and has enjoyed universal success and critical acclaim wherever in the world it has been performed. The story of a bunch of Geordie miners in the 1930s/40s discovering art may not sound promising, but it is truly inspirational whilst repeatedly hitting you with laugh lines as ripe as those of any stand-up comic. It is unique: a joy and a hoot for cast and audience and manages to be moving and important at the same time. The characters are without exception a delight.

The Miners, argumentative, individualistic, part of a real Geordie community, all play-carrying roles:

  • George – late 40s/early 50s; the organiser, the stickler for the rules, always ready with a devastating put-down quip. No community in the North East can be complete without a ‘George’.

  • Harry – late 40s; no longer a miner since he was gassed on the Somme, but a thoroughgoing Marxist who demolishes arguments with learned quotes from the big man; strong, passionately committed, out to change the world.

  • Jimmy – a little older; sharp, no nonsense about him, can knock the legs from under any pretentious fellow; not to be pushed around; not well educated but blessed with devastating native good sense.

  • Oliver – 40s; a thoughtful man but still a tough miner; he becomes the most successful artist and has an enquiring, sensitive mind; represents the awakening to better things very touchingly.

  • Young Man – late teens/early 20s, nobody ever mentions his name; unemployed, under-educated but on his own initiative has done a lot of intelligent reading and comes out with surprising and scene-stopping observations that bring the older men up sharp. Innate anger drives him.
    This role is doubled with:
    Ben Nicholson – a well-known artist, appears briefly; well educated, well spoken, relaxed young man.

The Others:

  • Mr Lyon – 40s; a central and dominating role in telling the story; a professional artist/art teacher, one of life’s enthusiasts, but knows he is limited in his talent. Teaching art appreciation to an argumentative gang of working men is a mind-bender for him; positively not a Geordie. Major role.

  • Helen Sutherland – 40s, wealthy, elegant, dilettante art collector, likes to flaunt her position in life, superficially supportive of the miners but really insensitive; can be a destructive personality.

  • Susan – early 20s, refined type of Geordie, attractive, works in a tea shop and models for artists at the local college – needs to do a very discreet nude appearance (a very funny scene).

The five miners need to have very good Geordie speech rhythms rather than precise accents. The dialogue is dead accurate in this respect (Lee Hall is Newcastle born and bred) and therefore helpful. I am a Geordie and can help and I will take three or four special speech workshops before we start.

Scripts are available at the Loft, but you must leave your name and contact number if you borrow one, and return it at or before the audition.

For more information or to discuss any aspect of the play or the audition, please contact the director, William Wilkinson on 01386 700372 or email BillWilkinson@loft-theatre.co.uk.

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Get Happy 22
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Updated: 15 November 2014