Audition: The Lion in Winter

by James Goldman

Directed by Linda Dyne

Wednesday 3rd October 2018 at 8pm in Room One

Playing dates: 18th-26th January 2019

The year is 1183. Britain’s King Henry II finds it occasionally useful to take his wife out of mothballs and parade her before the public. Henry’s Queen Eleanor, long exiled to a faraway castle, is ‘invited’ to join Henry and their three sons for a family reunion. In this way, Henry hopes to maintain a stronghold on his empire and prevent the balance of power from shifting to Eleanor or one of his sons: Richard the Lion-Heart, Prince Geoffrey, or Prince John. Also on hand for the get-together is Henry’s young mistress Princess Alais – who happens to be betrothed to his son Richard – and the Princess’ brother, King Philip of France.

Characters
  • Henry II, King of England (male, 50) – Though ageing, Henry is still very nearly as vital as he ever was. His manipulations of family and others are portrayed as spontaneous and emotional as opposed to the well-thought-out stratagems of Eleanor, and the cold, calculating machinations of Geoffrey.
  • Queen Eleanor (female, 61) – Eleanor is the wife of Henry and a beautiful woman of hot temperament, and great authority and presence. She has been a queen for nearly 46 years and is thoroughly capable of holding her own in a man’s world. She schemes against Henry and loves him intensely at the same time. She has contempt for her children but is not willing to see them harmed.
  • John (male, 16) – He is the youngest son of Henry and Eleanor. He is sulky and sullen, with a boyish outlook on his position; many in the play describe him as a spoiled. He is Henry’s favourite, but also the weakest. He is easily tricked and manipulated by Geoffrey.
  • Geoffrey (male, 25) – He is the middle son and a man of energy and action. He is attractive, charming and has the strongest intellect of the family; he is also a cold, amoral schemer. His view of himself is of one who yearned greatly for the love of his parents while receiving none.
  • Richard (male, 26) – The eldest surviving son of Henry and Eleanor. Richard is handsome, graceful and impressive and has been a famous soldier since his middle teens. War is his profession and he’s good at it. He’s easily the strongest and toughest of the three sons/princes. Richard and King Philip have been sexually involved prior to the action of the play. However, he is betrothed to Alais.
  • Alais Capet (female, 23) – She is in love with Henry. Everyone underestimates her intellect and power. She’s initially portrayed as innocent, but by the end of the play has begun to acquire a ruthless streak of her own, insisting that Henry imprison his three sons for the rest of their lives in the dungeon.
  • Philip II, King of France (male, 18) – He has been King of France for three years. He is not initially as accomplished as Henry in manipulating people, but seems to acquire greater skills at this during the play.

These are acting ages and as long as the actors look as if they could be the right ages, in relation to each other, that is absolutely fine. Please do not be put off by the historical ages!

Scripts will be available from Sarah Gennoe in September.

Contact

Sarah Gennoe

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Audition dates

Auditions will be held on the following dates:

Wednesday 3rd October at 8pm in Room One

Sunday 7th October at 2pm in Room One

Wednesday 10th October at 8pm in Room One

Auditions for all productions

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