Updated: 15 November 2014
Sunday, 7 December
Open auditions for
The Pitmen Painters
– see below for further details.
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.
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
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
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.
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
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