AUDITION: PLAYHOUSE CREATURES
by April De Angelis
Audition: Wed 1 September, 7.30pm at the Oakwood Centre
Performance: 23-27 November 2010
Women shockingly exploded onto the English stage in 1660 when the monarchy was restored and Charles II returned to claim his throne. Samuel Pepys and his contemporaries came to marvel at the first actresses - the 'playhouse creatures' of the title. And as creatures they are treated little better than the bears who entertained here before them. The management exploit them, the audience leer and jeer at them and the aristocracy seduce them. Three actresses and their skivvy struggle to adapt to the rapidly changing rules, only to find themselves usurped by an orange seller: the amoral Nell Gwyn.
The play calls for strong language and some undressing on stage, but we'll look at that together when the play is cast.
There are 5 parts, all female:
- Doll Common, an old woman
- Nell Gwyn, a sixteen-year-old girl
- Mrs Betterton, an actresss of about fifty
- Mrs Marshall, an actress in her late twenties
- Mrs Farley, an actress in her early twenties
We can play around with these ages a bit so don't be put off if you feel you don't quite match. None of the parts are particularly small but the play is quite a short one and the dialogue is very good, so it should be easy to learn.
It's a comedy and some of the fun comes from the 17th century style of acting, but there will be a chance to play some realistic and moving scenes as well as "hamming it up" to extremes. There is even some swordplay between Nell and Mrs Marshall.
There's no need to prepare anything for the audition, just turn up and be ready to enjoy yourself!
John Goodman, Director