Archives - Audition: Arcadia

by Tom Stoppard

Directed by Emrys Matthews

Sunday 14th January 2018 at 1.15pm in Room One

Playing dates: 11th-19th May 2018

In a large country house in Derbyshire in April 1809 sits Lady Thomasina Coverly, and her tutor, Septimus Hodge. Through the window may be seen some of the ‘500 acres inclusive of lake’ where Capability Brown’s idealised landscape is about to give way to the ‘picturesque’ Gothic style: ‘everything but vampires’, as the garden historian Hannah Jarvis remarks to Bernard Nightingale when they stand in the same room 180 years later. Bernard has arrived to uncover the scandal which is said to have taken place when Lord Byron stayed at Sidley Park.

Tom Stoppard’s absorbing play takes us back and forth between the centuries and explores the nature of truth and time, the difference between the Classical and the Romantic temperaments, and the disruptive influence of sex on our orbits in life – ‘the attraction which Newton left out’.

Characters and relevant audition material
  • Thomasina Coverly (aged 13 and 16) – a precocious mathematical prodigy
    1:1 “Septimus, what is carnal embrace?” to Thomasina leaving
  • Hannah Jarvis (30s) – an intellectual academic
    1:2 “All right it was in Byron’s library” to “Hide it, I’m going to sell it”
  • Lady Croom (30s) – powerful lady of the house
    2:2 “Well, Mr Hodge” to end of scene
  • Chloe Coverly (18) – a smart, confident upper-class teen
    1:2 “He said he knew you” to end of scene / 2:3 first page
  • Septimus Hodge (22 and 25) – Thomasina’s tutor and friend of Byron
    1:1 “Septimus, what is carnal embrace?” to Thomasina leaving
  • Bernard Nightingale (30s) – a cocky academic Oxbridge don
    1:2 “All right, it was in Byron’s library” to “Hide it, I’m going to sell it”
  • Valentine Coverly (25-30) – a grad-student in mathematics
    2:1 “Don’t let Bernard get to you” to end of scene / 2:3 first page
  • Ezra Chater (30s) – a poet / botanist / cuckold
    1:1 Chater enters to “Well sir, you can say you received satisfaction”
  • Jellaby (any age over 30) – a butler
    2:2 start of scene to Lady Croom’s entrance
  • Richard Noakes (any age over 30) – a landscape gardener
    2:3 Noakes’ entrance to Noakes’ exit into the garden
  • Captain Brice (30s) – a navy captain in love with Chater’s wife
    1:3 Brice’s entrance to end of scene
  • Augustus and Gus (both 15) – Thomasina’s / Chloe and Val’s brothers
    2:3 Augustus’ entrance to Augustus’ exit (skipping Val and Hannah part)

If you are unable to make the audition dates, if you would like a physical or digital copy of the script, or if you have any further questions please send an email to Emrys Matthews.


Emrys Matthews
Telephone: 07932 426993
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