Auditions for CALENDAR GIRLS are coming up!!
by Tim Firth
Directed by Hannah Eckstein
Auditions are as follows:
Park Hall – Sunday, February 23, 7-10
Center Stage – Monday, February 24, 7 – 10 pm
Callbacks: Center Stage Tuesday, February 25, 7pm
Performances will be May 15 – June 7 at Park Hall
This is not negotiable.
Lead role, friend of Annie. You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, find things to say to fill silences and generate laughter. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the centre of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls. 50s – 70s
Lead role, wife of John. Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has irritated a waiter in the restaurant, Annie will go in and pour calm. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet. 50s – 70s
Vicar’s daughter, single mother. Ideally a pianist, but not essential. Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others but rarely in herself. 40 – 60s
Former school teacher. Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics- her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on rollercoasters. Her husband has been with her a long time and is rarely surprised by her actions. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe “s”. 50s – 70s
Golf widow, wealthy. The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world. Which she did. She is particularly enamored of Jessie, and despite the fact the Jessie has very little time for most Celias of this world, there is rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds.
It’s what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her peer group and made her defect. 35-70s
Ruth’s journey is from the false confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self-confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Despite being Marie’s right-hand woman she is desperate to be the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself – if she was too wet, no-one would want her around. But they do, and they feel protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out. They are proved right. At the start, whatever Eddie wants, at the end, whatever she wants 40s
Head of the local WI. Marie has gradually built the current “Marie” around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. She went to her OZ – Cheshire, and found OZ didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on the calendar. 50s – 70s
Local dignitary. Small but important role. Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers. When she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. She must glide in like a galleon. 60s -70s
Small role, beautician, can be doubled with other small roles. Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her gran. 20s -30s
Speaker at the WI. Small role, can be doubled up
Annie’s husband. Cancer Patient. May Need to shave his head or bald cap. John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies, it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off. Possibly dances 50s -70s
Chris’ husband, lots of bonhomie. You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets, and has a deadpan humour which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success. And John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channeled through their wives. 50s-70s
Photographer. Hesitant, without being nerdy. He is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots, he is close to female nudity but sees only the photo. late 20s – 30s
Marketing Person. Small role. Liam would like to be directing other things than photo shoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photo shoot is a job
A brief synopsis of the show:
May 15-June 7
by Tim Firth
Directed by Hannah Eckstein
When Annie’s husband John dies of cancer, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. With help from other women in their British women’s club, (who are also of a more advanced age) they decide to pose nude and publish a calendar with the photos in order to raise funds. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The play is based on a true story and is both poignant and filled with sweet, good-natured British comedy that is sure to make you roar with laughter!