In Praise of Love by Terence Rattigan
Audition - Wednesday 12 September – 7.30pm
Pre – audition reading –Wednesday 5 September – 7.30pm
Performance dates – 27 November – 01 December 2012
Both reading and audition to be held at the Oakwood Centre, Woodley, Berkshire
Set in the 1970’s, the play tells of Lydia, former heroine of the resistance during the Nazi occupation of her native Estonia, who was “rescued” from the subsequent subordination of her country by Soviet Russia, by a then marriage of convenience to a British Intelligence Officer, Sebastian. They are still married 30 years later and living in London. Lydia now has an incurable and fatal disease, which she seeks to hide from Sebastian, who has become a literary critic, having failed to fulfil early promise as a novelist. He is a man apparently totally bound up with himself, his own comforts and his left- wing political views. They are visited from America by Mark, Sebastian’s very successful writer friend, himself in love with Lydia. This visit, together with the performance on television of a first play by the couple’s son Joey, provides the catalyst for Rattigan’s perceptive and moving revelations of those hidden feelings, which sometimes lead us to behave in unexpected and even apparently contradictory ways.
Lydia: Acting age 45 to 55ish – Leading role – Strong character, totally in love with Sebastian, but also very fond of Mark, and tigrishly maternal as regards Joey her son. A slight mid-European accent might be useful but is definitely a secondary consideration.
Sebastian: Acting age 45 to 60 – Leading role – Former Intelligence Officer now one-hit writer turned literary critic, not without some bitterness. Outwardly totally pre-occupied with himself, his own creature comforts and his own abilities and ideas – very left-wing politically. Reveals deeper feelings later.
Mark: Acting age 40 to 50ish – Major supporting role – American (tho’ Lithuanian by birth). Very successful writer of light-weight novels – Charming and congenial – in love with Lydia.
Joey: Acting age late teens/early twenties – Supporting role – Eager-beaver political activist for the Liberal party – would-be writer – looking always for his father’s good opinion which he never gets.
NB The acting ages referred to above are flexible so please do not be put off from auditioning if you do not come exactly within the stated parameters. Ability to find a convincing character from the text (not necessarily that which I am indicating above) is likely to be of greater significance.
Frank Augur - director
For any more information please call me:-01491 413953
P.S. The play is based on the story of Rex Harrison, whose wife Kay Kendall died of leukaemia in 1959
Terence Rattigan's 'In Praise of Love' is one of his weightiest and wonderful works – quote Patrick Marmion