Audition: Rumours (The British Version)

by Neil Simon 

Please find below the details of the auditions and backstage help required for ‘Rumours’. Please do get in touch with the Director, Angela Daniel, with any questions you may have by emailing angela@danielz.org 

 

Audition Dates:                     

Sunday 12th November 3-6pm: Studio

Wednesday 15th November 7.30pm: Studio

 

Recalls:  

Tuesday 21st November 8:00 pm - Studio

 

Performance Space:            

150 seat Theatre at Putney Arts Theatre

 

Performance Dates:            

20th – 24th February, 2018

 

Rehearsal Period:

Rehearsals will take place from mid-November at 7.30pm for 2-3 evenings on Monday to Thursday, as well as around 3 hours rehearsal on some Sundays. Occasionally there may also be a need to rehearse on Saturdays. Most actors will only be called for 2 rehearsals a week until the final few weeks, when actors should be prepared to rehearse up to 4 days a week.

 

Please note:

This is an amateur production. You do not need to be a member of Putney Theatre Company to audition, but actors and crew will need to become a member of Putney Theatre Company to take part in the show for £20 a year, and a £20 show fee will be due.

 

Audition Preparation:

To audition, please email Angela Daniel, the Director, at angela@danielz.org to let her know which character/s you would like to audition for and your preferred audition date and she will then send you the relevant audition pieces and a time slot.

While the play is written by an American playwright, this is the British version so American accents are not required. All actors need good pacing, excellent comic timing and the physical dexterity that farce demands. You may be asked to read alongside those auditioning for other roles, or with a ‘reader’ and/or you may be asked to read a monologue. While you should familiarise yourself with them, you are not required to memorise the lines. it is more important to focus on the character and interpretation of the scene. Please arrive on time and be prepared to stay for an hour or longer.

 

Synopsis:

Set in the late 80’s, 4 couples are invited to their friends’ country house for a 10th wedding anniversary party. However the host, Charley Brooks, a leading member of the government, lies bleeding in the bedroom from a gunshot wound and his wife and their staff are nowhere to be seen. In order to avoid a scandal, his lawyer Ken, must get the "story" straight before the other guests arrive. What transpires is an evening of cover ups, mistaken identity, confusion and classic, farcical hilarity.

 

Characters:    [5] Male [5] Female. 

All the main characters are well-to-do, successful and in their prime professionally. They enjoy a high standing in society. Playing age range is 30’s to 50’s with obvious compatibility between the couples/friends.

Male Characters:

Ken Bevans               Charley's highly strung, well-to-do lawyer. A spin doctor, a bit of a know-all, but likeable and by no means pretentious. He is the catalyst for much of the action as he frantically tries to control the situation (without much success) only to wind up temporarily deaf and extremely confused. Often in a state of desperation, the role has lots of opportunity for physical comedy.

Leonard Cummings Charley's accountant who, before arriving at the party, has sustained whiplash from an accident with his brand new BMW. He is at first an unwitting accomplice in the mayhem, but ultimately gets caught up with it. Irascible, sarcastic, outspoken, he does not suffer fools gladly but has a roguish charm. When the police arrive, it’s Leonard who comes up with the fantastically unbelievable and overdramatised story that will hopefully convince them. (This is a lengthy monologue).

Ernest Cusack           An affable, well respected psychotherapist who is at first duped by the others into believing that nothing is wrong. Amenable, patient and easy going (until really pushed) he adores his wife and is very protective of her. Although a little pretentious, he tries to be as helpful as possible including pitching in to cook dinner if it means keeping the peace. Gets a little panicky as things progress.

Glenn Cooper           Ambitious, smooth, polished, image aware, Glenn is running for Member of Parliament. His main concern is keeping any scandal as far away from his campaign as possible and convincing his wife (not very successfully) that he is not having an affair. Appearance matters with Glen, along with his reputation. Lots of tension between him and Cassie, his wife.

PC Conklin                Straight talking, long suffering, no nonsense, veteran police officer. He just wants

(supporting role)      to get thefacts straight, write his report and get home. He appears in Act 2 and has a couple of fairly long monologues.

 

Female Characters

Chris Bevans             Ken’s elegant, highly strung but smart talking, lawyer wife. Having recently quit smoking, she is a bundle of nerves. She tries to deal with the ever-increasing stress of the situation with wisecracks, lying and alcohol. Sardonically funny, there are lots of opportunities for physical comedy as she gets increasingly tipsy and tries to maintain normalcy.

Claire Cummings      Married to Leonard (who can be a handful) she is a society woman, very concerned with keeping up appearances (hers and others). Much to her husband’s disdain, she loves gossip (both listening to it and spreading it) and is a bit over-controlling. She is very involved with the country club and their standing there. She starts the play with a swollen lip (from the car accident) and tries desperately, and not altogether successfully, to keep up with what’s going on.

Cookie Cusack          Has her own TV cooking show. Suffers from extreme back spasms and has an eccentric, quirky personality and dress sense. She’s sweet and eager to please but she’s not from the same world as others. She loves her husband very much and they are both rather demonstratively irritating in this way. A bit absent-minded, she is often the last to grasp what is going on at any given moment. 

Cassie Cooper          Glenn's trophy wife, she obsesses over her husband’s relationships with other women. Sexy, but jealous, insecure, shrewish, she is convinced that her husband is having an affair. She quickly resorts to anger and arguing as well as flirting with the other men to deal with the situation. Not intellectually smart like the others, she is obsessed with the healing powers of quartz crystals which she uses to calm herself down.

PC Casey (small, cameo)          PC Conklin’s rookie partner who backs him up during the investigation. Appears in Act 2. Has presence on stage but very few lines.

 

Backstage opportunities available include:

Lighting/sound operator

Set construction

Assistant stage manager

Stage manager

Sound operator

Costume assistants

Hair and make-up assistants

 

Please get in touch with info@putneyartstheatre.org.uk if you are interested in getting involved.