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News: Auditions

Updated: 03 July 2014

Sunday, 14 September

2.30pm

Open auditions for Collaborators, Abigail’s Party and The Real Thing – 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.


Collaborators
by John Hodge

Director: Gordon Vallins
Production dates: February 7–14, 2015 (main house)

Audition: Sunday, 14 September
at 2.30pm at the theatre
(Coffee, registration and tours of the building for new members from 2pm)

Collaborators is an extraordinary comedy of menace, intrigue and power set in Stalin’s Moscow, written by John Hodge (whose film screenplays include Trainspotting and Shallow Grave). It premiered at the National Theatre with Simon Russell-Beale and Alex Jennings playing Joseph Stalin and Mikhail Bulgakov, winning the Laurence Olivier Award for best new play in 2012.

Set in 1930s Moscow, where an atmosphere of hysteria, fear, paranoia, show trials and clandestine executions dominate everyday life, Hodge has created a theatrical gem full of dangers and comic possibilities. Inspired by an historical truth, the play embarks on a surreal journey into the fevered imagination of the playwright Bulgakov as he becomes involved in a macabre and disturbingly comic relationship with one of the most notorious tyrants of the twentieth century.

Bulgakov has to write a play about young Joseph to celebrate Stalin’s 60th birthday. Every fibre of Bulgakov hates the idea. Unexpectedly, Stalin himself proposes to write the play, but only if Bulgakov runs the country. All this is unknown to the Soviet law enforcement agency, the NKVD, who are producing the play. Everyone’s life and well-being is dependent on how Bulgakov remains in favour. The premise might be unsettling but the play itself is extraordinary and exciting.

Lead characters

  • Mikhail Bulgakov – 40s/50s, lives in the shadow of a nightmare, caught up in the game of cat and mouse, initially brave, sensitively resists pressure, eventually succumbs. Is fearful, rarely off stage, has deep concern for wife

  • Yelena – his wife, 30s/40s, stoical, brave, fearful, deeply concerned for Mikhail’s well-being

  • Joseph Stalin – 59, not the bullying tyrant you expect, not the archetypal stage villain, surprisingly subtly mischievous, yet menacing, knows he wields absolute power, energetic, his persona pervades the play

  • Vladimir – late 30s-50s, NKVD officer, a friendly heavyweight, his presence is threatening, initially very confident, enjoys his work, directs the play supposedly written by Bulgakov about a young, heroic Stalin.

Members of the Bulgakov household

  • Vasilly – 60+, ex-aristo, once loved by his peasants, now longs for coffee and a bath

  • Praskovya – 20s50s, female history teacher who remembers nothing, it’s all in the textbooks

  • Sergei – early 20s, young worker, loyal party member, idealistic, sleeps in a cupboard

  • Grigori – 20s/30s, young writer, desperate to be published, holds Bulgakov as a hero

Roles not of the household

  • Stepan – 20s-50s, NKVD officer, says very little, sinister presence, appears as Vladimir’s shadow, source of much comedy, gets shot

  • Anna – an actress, 20s-40s, attractive, friend of Grigori

  • Doctor – 30s-70s, officious, sexual fantasist

  • Two Actors (1m 1f) – eager, active, clown-like figures/character actors, brought in to rehearse Stalin’s play (rehearsals occur at intervals during the play)

There will be some doubling which includes the roles of: Eva (Vladimir’s wife), Nurse (pretty, pristine), NKVD officers, Driver, Cleaner, Man, Woman, Molière, and a Chorus (members of an acting company in Commedia masks) presenting Bulgakov’s play Molière.

For further information and to request copies of the script for reading in advance of the audition, please contact Gordon Vallins by email: GordonVallins@loft-theatre.co.uk or phone 01926 882792.


Abigail’s Party
by Mike Leigh

Director: Vanessa Comer
Production dates: March 2015 (main house)

Audition: Sunday, 14 September
at 2.30pm at the theatre
(Coffee, registration and tours of the building for new members from 2pm)

Abigail’s Party, devised by Mike Leigh and company, takes a satirical look at the aspirations of the rising middle class that emerged in 1970s Britain.

The action, presenting an appalling evening of domestic entertaining in suburbia, takes place entirely in a confined living room in the home of Beverly and Laurence. The party which provides the play’s title remains off-stage, initially misleading the audience into thinking that the real action is happening elsewhere.

Abigail’s Party is morbidly compelling. None of the characters seems to like each other; the relationships between the couples appear to be based on mutual irritation and all seem self-preoccupied. Nor are any of them particularly likeable, which allows a comic mood to prevail even when events darken.

  • Beverly Moss – An ex-department store make-up representative who is always trying to impress her guests. ‘She is undoubtedly a monster but she is also a deeply sad and vulnerable monster... The whole point about Beverly is that she is childless, and there is a sense in which that grotesque exterior carapace is a mask of inner desolation’ (Michael Coveney).

  • Laurence Moss – Beverly’s pernickety estate agent husband who aspires to the finer things in life. He seems powerless to compete with Beverly’s more flamboyant persona, and compensates by working too much.

  • Tony Cooper – A computer operator who used to play professional football for Crystal Palace. Tony is quiet throughout most of the play, usually appearing uneasy and giving one-word answers.

  • Angela Cooper – Tony’s wife. A nurse, Angela appears very meek and somewhat childlike, unintelligent and tactless. She comes into her own towards the end of the play.

  • Susan Lawson – Abigail’s mother, she is a quiet character who does not really have the courage to say no. Concerned about her daughter’s party next door, she would rather be elsewhere.

For further information and to request copies of the script for reading in advance of the audition, please contact Vanessa Comer by email: VanessaComer@loft-theatre.co.uk.


The Real Thing
by Tom Stoppard

Director: Sue Moore
Production dates: April 2015 (main house)

Audition: Sunday, 14 September
at 2.30pm at the theatre
(Coffee, registration and tours of the building for new members from 2pm)

The Real Thing premiered in 1982 and has become something of a classic, seducing critics and theatregoers and winning multiple awards here and on Broadway. Ewan McGregor will be appearing in a production on Broadway later this year and is one of a long line of classic actors and actresses who have lined up to play the wonderful roles.

This is a super intelligent and witty play about love. It addresses a big idea – what in art or life is ‘the real thing’?

Charlotte is an actress who has been appearing in a play about marriage written by her playwright husband Henry. Max, her leading man, is also married to an actress, Annie, who is a political activist. Both marriages are on the point of collapse because Henry and Annie have fallen in love. But... is it the real thing?

  • Max – 40s; an actor. Nice, somewhat self-absorbed and conciliatory. Can be emotional. Married to Annie.

  • Charlotte – 35ish; an actress. Henry’s wife. Just the sort of person who would be a great friend, but of late has increasingly lost some of her warmth. Can take care of herself.

  • Henry – 40s; the play’s protagonist. A successful London playwright. Intelligent, amiable, erudite and witty. Can be impatient with others’ flaws. Married to Charlotte. Goes through a profound change in the play regarding his attitude towards love.

  • Annie – 35ish; actress. Married to Max. Warm and attractive. Strong willed and clever. A political idealist and a survivor.

  • Billy – 20s; an attractive young actor who flirts with Annie and offers to be in Brodie’s play to please her.

  • Debbie – late teens; Henry and Charlotte’s daughter. A punk. About to go off with her boyfriend who works in a fairground. Precocious, but many of her ideas are not thought through.

  • Brodie – 20s; a Scottish soldier, stationed in Norfolk. He meets Annie on a train after going AWOL. Gets arrested and put in prison following an anti-missile demonstration. He writes a play whilst there. Naïve and ungrateful.

For a script or for more information email SueMoore@loft-theatre.co.uk or phone 07970 029257.


Coming soon
Macbeth 4
Sep
No Regrets 7
Sep
Relatively Speaking 8
Oct
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   Visiting production 
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Updated: 03 July 2014