The God of Carnage - by Yasmina Reza
Audition Wednesday 10th January 2018
at The Oakwood at 7.30pm
Back Story – Two 11 year old boys have an altercation in a local park. One knocks the other’s two front teeth out.
The Play – The parents of the two boys meet at the injured boy’s parent’s apartment to discuss the situation. What could possibly go wrong!?
Characters – All four characters are 35-45 (flexible) but obviously need to be of the age to have an 11 year old.
Annette and Alan - The aggressor’s parents are very well educated professionals.
Alan – A company lawyer specialising in litigation and damage claims. Very well dressed in a tailored suit. Well-spoken and thinks of the use and meaning of every word. He is currently handling a case for a pharmaceutical company who make ‘Antril’, a beta blocker with known side effects. He is constantly on his mobile phone, much to the irritation of the other couple and his wife.
Annette – A ‘wealth advisor’. Well-spoken and sharply dressed, designer handbag and shoes. She is trying to pacify the situation but is so stressed by her husband’s constant phone calls that she is violently ill and vomits over the coffee table where Veronica has delicately placed her precious, first edition art books.
Veronica and Mike – The injured boy’s parents are a middle class couple with pretentions. Dressed in smart, casual and comfortable clothes.
Veronica - Fiercely defensive of her son and her status. Her prize possessions are her Kokoschka art book and a vase of pristine tulips, both of which are ruined by the end of the play. She is a part time book shop assistant and has co-written an article on the Darfur tragedy.
Mike – Has a wholesale domestic hardware business which ‘just rubs along’. He is initially very polite and affable until it is revealed that he has disposed of the family pet, a hamster, by tipping it out of its cage in the street outside, because it was making ‘an appalling racket all night’. The two female characters take great exception to this. Alan doesn’t care.
The Play was originally written in French and this is the English translation. The accents should be standard BBC English and certainly not some French equivalent like ‘Allo Allo!’
As the play progresses the characters argue about many irrelevant issues, particularly when it is revealed that Mike’s mother has been taking ‘Antril’ for some time. They drink large quantities of brandy and tempers get really out of hand.
The play has only one act and is approximately 1 hr 20 mins long. All the actors are on stage or in view for the whole time. There is a huge opportunity for characterisation and emotion but it is not a play for the faint hearted.
The Playwright – Yasmina Reza is a French playwright, actress, novelist and screenwriter best known for her brief satirical plays reflecting on contemporary middle class issues. Her plays have been translated into 30 languages. This play opened in London in 2008 and won the Olivier award for Best New Comedy. In 2011 Roman Polanski produced the film ‘Carnage’ with Jodie Faster (Veronica), Kate Winslet (Annette), Christoph Waltz (Alan) and John C Riley (Mike).