Our next show is Hayfever, by Noel Coward which will perform 24-27 July.
Date: Sunday 7 April 2019
Venue: St Ann’s Church Hall Wandsworth.SW18 2RS
Please see below for information on audition pieces.
Hay Fever is one of Noel Coward’s most durable comedies, with its astute observations on family relationships and rivalries. The action takes place in the house of the Bliss family over the course of a weekend. Judith Bliss, a retired actress, her writer husband David, and their two grown-up children, Simon and Sorel, have all privately invited guests for the weekend, unbeknownst to anyone else. As the guests arrive, it becomes clear that it is not them who will be the problem, but the family themselves. Although Judith has supposedly retired from the stage, the nightmare weekend becomes her own private play, and her family become the supporting actors. Over the top and theatrical in their actions, the Bliss family delight in winding each other up and provoking a dramatic reaction from each other.
As the weekend wears on, each guest pairs off with the wrong person with dramatic effects. Confused and angered by the strange behaviour of their hosts, the guests all agree that they must leave straight away. As they creep out of the house, the Bliss family are, once again, engaged in a daft, passionate argument about David’s book – whether this is deliberate move to rid them of their discarded weekend ‘toys’ or not is unclear.
Hay Fever provides a shrewd, farcical look at a dysfunctional family of a certain standing oblivious of their ill-mannered behaviour.
There are parts of the script I’ll concentrate on during the audition – but not exclusively. You don’t have to learn these pages off by heart or anything like that. But it would be good to familiarise yourself with them:
Clara, Simon and Sorel
Pgs 6 – 7
Judith, Sorel, Sandy, Myra, David
Pgs – 60-67
Roles can aged up or down to suit casting so the below ages are guides.
- Sorel Bliss – daughter, early 20s, no discernable career, witty and pretty
- Simon Bliss – son, early to mid 20s, artist
- Judith Bliss – mother, 40s to 50s, a ‘retired’ actress
- David Bliss – father, 50s onwards, an author
- Clara – housekeeper/maid (also Judith’s dresser at the theatre)
- Sandy Tyrell – male guest of Judith, 20-30s, athletic, viral
- Myra Arundel – guest of Simon, 20s-30s, cosmopolitan
- Richard Greatham – guest of Sorel, 30s-40s, suave diplomat type
- Jackie Coryton – guest of David, 20s -30s, more ‘working class’ then the rest
For every show we hold open auditions which are advertised on this site, and we regularly cast newcomers. (You don’t need to separately audition first just to become a member, unlike some amdram groups)
Auditions are perhaps the most important part of a director’s work. To give yourself the best chance of being cast, it’s a good idea to do some preparation for auditions, but you don’t have to learn the lines! We try and cast the shows on the day of the auditions, and casting is inevitably accompanied by a trip to the pub to celebrate or commiserate.
Auditions are normally held three to four months before the show is due to be performed, giving plenty of time to get familiar with the script before rehearsals start.
If you do get cast, we would then ask that you join as a member. This gives you access to members’ benefits (free entry to all New Stagers’ shows, regular email updates, notification of New Stagers’ social events and a voice in group decisions, including deciding the yearly repertoire) plus helping to ensure the group’s productions are properly funded. Subs are £60 p/a (contribution if unwaged), payable £5 monthly by standing order. You start paying from the next due month after you join (unless you accept a role in a show immediately on joining – in this case, the monthly amount is payable before your first rehearsal).