Playhouse Creatures by April De Angelis 7-9th March 2019 Audition Notice
Audition dates: 21st Nov at 8pm in the Hall and 25th Nov at 3pm in the Brunt room. Rehearsals will be Mon, Wed, Sun starting 28th Nov.
This is the 1997, 6 female, 2 male version of the play plus ensemble, – all of the characters portrayed have interesting stories. If you are interested I can provide a copy of the script.
Bawdy, bloody and bold – this earthy account of the lives of some of the first English actresses is funny yet honest and gritty. Life was tough and the gutter never far away. The time is 1669 – London – The monarchy has been restored and, on his return from France, Charles II has brought with him a love of theatre and of actresses! He decrees that women are allowed on the English stage for the first time, much to the delight of their male admirers! Corsets are pulled tight, cleavage revealed and the extreme lengths these ‘Creatures’ will go to for success.
Accents will be London with lower status characters having stronger accents and high status characters having less pronounced accents.
Doll Common: Described as “timeless…a vagrant” The oldest in the cast and though not a real person, she is fundamental to the play as a sort of ‘everywoman’. She has seen everything before and has a dark, sharp and deeply perceptive wit that provides much of the social commentary in the play. Audition speech (prologue)
Nell Gwynn: – The youngest for a major part of the play. She is open, streetwise and never forgets her roots in Coal Yard Alley. We are introduced to Nell from selling oranges, to leading lady, to being the Kings mistress. She provides a great deal of the play’s energy and is often a great foil for Doll’s wit. Audition scene (first scene with Mrs Farley)
Mrs Elizabeth Farley – is a little older than Nell begins the play as a naïve, recently bereaved Puritan minister’s daughter and her journey marks the story of many young actresses of the era who were certainly blinded by the promise of “lace” and “accoutrements”. Audition scene (first scene with Nell)
Mrs Elizabeth Barry – Similar age to Farley, a smaller role, we see Elizabeth journey from a starry eyed actress to the plaything of the infamous Earl of Rochester. Also part of the theatre company ensemble. (End monologue).
Mrs Rebecca Marshall (older than Mrs Farley) is already an accomplished actress when the play starts. One of the most modern of the characters, Mrs Marshall Campaigns for equality and “shares” in the theatre’s profits for the actresses. She comes to a rather sobering recognition of the reality of being an actress. Audition scene (her final scene)
Mrs Mary Betterton – (bit younger than Doll) the wife of Thomas Betterton – Mrs Betterton discovers that she is a relic of a bygone era. Her formidable acting style, her looks and perhaps her love of theatre itself appear to be out of fashion. Initially we may laugh at her, but increasingly we recognise that her plight is all too familiar. Audition speech (final damned spot monologue)
John Wilmot – The infamous wit, 2nd Earl of Rochester, who wrote poetry, scandalously womanised, and drank himself to death by 33. A small but debauched role. (End monologue).
Thomas Otway – Writer, Poet, Friend of John Wilmot and in love with Elizabeth Barry. A smaller debauched role. Also part of the theatre company ensemble. Audition scene (first scene with Gwynn and Farley)
Ensemble – Theatre Company Players, Tavern drunks, rich and poor of 17th Century London.