Login

All Company of Ten auditions are open, which means everyone is free to turn up and be considered, irrespective of previous experience.

Please bear in mind that if you are cast in a production and are not a member, you’ll have to join.

For further information, contact manager@abbeytheatre.org.uk, labelling your mail with the header ‘Auditions’.

The Argument
by William Boyd

Director Terry Prince writes:

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to direct The Argument by William Boyd, in the Studio. Boyd is one of our leading novelists and has turned his hand to writing a taut, darkly comic play that turns the spotlight on a common theme in human relationships, arguments. We’ve all had them I’m sure, somewhere on the spectrum of the trivial to the traumatic.

Boyd’s play opens with a simple disagreement between a husband and wife, about the merits of a film. This soon escalates into destructive personal attacks that challenge the very basis of their marriage. Parents and friends get drawn into the battle and the nature of love and marriage, truth and lies, is unrelentingly examined.

Boyd’s characters are richly drawn and give challenging opportunities to actors to get inside their skins. The descriptions below are the playing ages and quotes are taken from the playwright or the text.

Pip: (m) 30s; “attractive looking”; “good looking guy”; very successful at work; earns good money

Meredith (f) 30s, his wife; “beautiful and clever”; museum curator at The British Museum; Oxford educated

Chloe (f) Meredith’s mother; late 50s early 60s; “elegant, well groomed”

Frank (m) Meredith’s father; “a good looking 60 year old”; retired orthopaedic surgeon

Tony (m) 30s; Pip’s best friend; Cambridge educated

Jane (f) 30s; Meredith’s best friend; architect

I hope to have texts in the Members’ Room by November. Please read and return for others.

Judith Goodban is working on a simple but effective set design. Russ Gordon is lighting designer and Ian Crawford has offered to cover the sound. So, anyone out there interested in getting involved would be most welcome to get in touch; plenty of jobs are still to be taken.

Important dates:

Casting Readings: Thursday 18 January and Tuesday 23 January

Rehearsals begin 12 February

Performance dates: 18–28 April

ON GOLDEN POND

BY ERNEST THOMPSON

Director Abbe Waghorn writes:

On Golden Pond was written by Ernest Thompson, based on childhood memories of his parents’ holiday home in rural Maine. (You may know it from the 1981 film adaptation starring Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn).

Casting dates: Thursday 25 January 8pm in the Studio; Sunday 28th January 2pm in the Studio. Rehearsals begin March 5. Performance dates: 9–19 May.    

When we first meet the central couple Norman and Ethel, it is late spring and they’re just arriving at their lakeside summer house. Their only child Chelsea’s 42nd birthday is coming up and she’s going to visit them. Chelsea has not given them any grandchildren which is a disappointment to Norman.

She has a new boyfriend, Bill Ray, and they ask if his 13 year old son can stay with Norman and Ethel while they travel to Europe. Reluctantly, Norman agrees. And so we meet Billy Ray, whose developing relationship with Norman is funny, touching and a painful reminder to the audience and to Chelsea of the relationship that has failed to take place between her and her father.

The play contains a lot of themes that resonate with me – love, family relationships (particularly long romantic relationships into old age and father/daughter relationships) and it reminds me of how we all change and develop through our lives due to the choices we make along the way.

I think above all the play offers us a strong uplifting message of hope. It manages to be a very funny and moving play but also asks questions about the pain, loss and forgiveness inherent in dysfunctional family relationships. All the parts are really well written.

Characters:

Norman Thayer – playing age 70’s. A grumpy egocentric with a razor sharp wit which he uses to cope with the fear of losing his faculties, his health and ultimately death

Ethel Thayer (his wife) – playing age 60’s A loving and accepting optimist

Charlie Martin (their postman) – male – playing age 40’s – unmarried, simple & likeable – has loved Chelsea for a long time but never acted upon his feelings

Chelsea Thayer (their daughter) – playing age early 40’s – their only child, unmarried and without children

Bill Ray (Chelsea’s new boyfriend) – playing age 40’s

Billy Ray (Bill Ray’s son) – playing age 13 – ideally a young looking 16 year old, but not necessarily

It would be helpful if you could have a go at an American accent for the audition as the play is set in Maine, New England – but no need to be too specific at this stage.