Archives - Audition: Bronte

by Polly Teale

Directed by Lou Wallace

Sunday 22nd October 2017 at 10.30am in Room One

Playing dates: 16th to 24th February 2018

Brontë explores how three Victorian sisters isolated on the Yorkshire moors, came to write some of the most powerful and passionate fiction of all time. Jane Eyre is the second most read book in the English language (after the Bible) and Wuthering Heights is undoubtedly one of the greatest literary works of fiction –appearing on Best seller lists across the world! Yet their lives were domestic and terribly confined, living at a time when even visiting a library was considered ‘ungenteel’ for a woman.

The play explores time and the concept of imagination versus the real world. It opens with three modern actresses discussing the Brontë family. These women become the sisters as we return to 1845 and inhabit both the real and imagined worlds of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. The action begins with the impending arrival of Branwell –dismissed from his role as tutor after an affair. As he descends into an alcohol and drug infused depression – the sisters write. Without a chronological structure, the characters in the play freely move back and forth in time recounting scenes from their lives both as documented and as imagined by the author. The sisters take on the persona of their own characters as other characters haunt the stage – the edges between reality and the imagination blur and we will explore in rehearsal quite how we are going to do this on stage!

Actors will be deeply involved in the creative process of rehearsal. There will be much ‘playing’. They need to move well, be able to improvise, and be fully part of the direction and progress of rehearsals.

Auditions will be partly workshop, partly reading. Copies of the text and additional information may be obtained from Carol Bush or from Lou Wallace.

CHARACTERS

I hope to cast 5 women and 2 or more men

As you probably know, all three sisters died before they were 40.

The parts of the sisters are fairly equal in terms of lines. With doubling etc I would say most other roles are of a reasonable size.

Bertha and Cathy do have less lines since I have split the original doubling, but I anticipate a great deal of stage time with lots of movement required– quite daring roles to play in fact.

  • Charlotte – is 29 in 1845 – should be shorter than her sisters - also plays Jane Eyre
  • Emily – is 27 in 1845 – also plays Nelly
  • Anne – is 25 in 1845 – also plays Mrs Huntingdon
  • Branwell – 28 in 1845 - also plays Rochester/Mr Heger/Arthur Bell Nicholls – playing age around 30 ish to accommodate various roles
  • Patrick – 58 in 1845 –probably also plays Heathcliffe/Arthur Huntingdon –
  • Cathy – late 20s –
  • Bertha – 30s

Show runs week after February half-term – that will be a busy week – for the remaining rehearsal period we will work for at least three hours each Sunday and on two other evenings

Due to other commitments we will not begin rehearsals until the very end of November.

We hope to have a workshop/rehearsal weekend up in Haworth during the first week of January – to fully immerse ourselves in the cold, damp and wild moors of Yorkshire that we are trying to imagine in deepest, darkest Hertfordshire!

Any other questions – do ask either me or Carol

I am really excited by this play – a thrilling challenge for its company – so do come along and audition - these are fabulous roles to play!

AUDITIONS

I think I would like to work with sections from the beginning of the play and I'm keen to explore how we might move from 'now' to 'then' and to play with the childhood stuff as well? Ideally the audition will be workshop style? So good to particularly look at the first 12 or so pages, but no need to learn anything. Although I will need to hear accents!  It is going to involve a lot of playing and experimenting in rehearsal. I like to work as creatively and inclusively as possible. So it is just great to see how people respond to that really

Contact

Louise Wallace
Director
Telephone: 07919 283417
Send email: 

Carol Bush

Telephone: 01707 708704
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