Cause Celebre - Reading and Audition Notice

Reading:                        Sunday 10th November, 6.00 pm, Foyer, Hampton Hill Theatre

Audition:                        Sunday 24th November, 6.00 pm, Coward Suite, Hampton Hill Theatre

Child Auditions:             Sunday 1st December, 12.00 pm, Yardley, Hampton Hill Theatre (see below)

Performance Dates:     Saturday 7th March – Friday 13th March 2020 (Auditorium)


Cause Célèbre by Terence Rattigan
Directed by Fiona Smith

Terence Rattigan’s final play is based on the true story of Alma Rattenbury, who in 1935 stood trial with her 18 year old lover for the murder of her older husband. The case created a prurient press frenzy, with crowds massing outside the Old Bailey baying for vengeance. Complimentary but contradictory is (the fictional) Edith Davenport, steely chairwoman of the jury, whose own life counterpoints a tale of love, betrayal, guilt and tumultuous passions deeply repressed, that come to breaking point. Rattigan remains a master of understatement in this tense courtroom drama, with understanding and compassion for all his characters and their flaws. 

SETTING - Bournemouth, 1936


The majority of the smaller roles may only have two or three scenes, but those are intense and emotionally challenging. Every character matters.

Female 7, Male 8, boy of 12.


Alma - 30s/40s. On trial for her husband’s murder.  Sensual, affectionate, vivacious, irresponsible.       

Edith - 30s/40s. Forewoman of the jury.   Puritanical, bitter, lonely and hurt.   

Irene - 30s/40s. Alma’s maid/companion.  Devoted to Alma.    

Stella - 30s/40s. Edith’s sister.  Somewhat disapproving of her sister’s attitudes.   

Montague -30s. Assistant to the Alma’s defence council.  Intelligent, insightful, sensitive. 

Joan - 30s/40s. Prison warder.  Begins with only contempt for Alma, but develops more understanding and sympathy. 

Clerk/Coroner - 30 and up.  Begins and ends the play. Sets out the plot and its resolution in clear unemotional terms.

Ratz/Judge - 50s/60s. Alma’s husband (doubles with role of judge).  Older than his wife, tolerant of her behaviour to keep her happy.    

George - 17. Alma’s lover. Charged with her husband’s murder. Utterly enraptured by Alma.

O’Connor - 40s/50s. Alma’s defence council. Flamboyant, veteran star lawyer. Determined to win at all costs.      

Croome Johnson - 40s/50s. Prosecution for the crown. Experienced, professional, has a rivalry with O’Connor.  

Casswell  - 30s. George’s defence council. Less experienced, uncertain of his chances of success.   

John - 40s.  Edith’s estranged husband.  Loves his wife and son, but cannot reconcile himself to a celibate marriage.  

Tony - 17.  Edith’s son. Deeply unhappy with his parents’ divorce and mothers disgust at his burgeoning sexuality,   

Sgt Bagwell  - 20s/30s.  Police officer.  Somewhat out of his depth at the situation.  

Christopher -  Alma’s 12 year old son.  A young boy trying to be brave in the face of his mother on a capital murder charge.   


CHILD AUDITIONS (Sunday 1st December)

We are looking for two boys (playing age 12) or one young man aged 16+ with a younger playing age.  The role of Christopher Rattenbury is key to the play - his mother is on trial for the murder of his father and he is taken to see her in prison.  Only in two scenes, but a very powerful role and an excellent acting opportunity.  Boys under school leaving age will share the role.

PARENTS PLEASE NOTE:  you will be expected to chaperone your own child during the run of the play and the two ‘tech’ weeks leading up to opening night and the successful child will be expected to become a temporary TTC member.  There is no additional cost once membership is paid.


Rehearsals - Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Not all actors are required to attend all rehearsals.  A schedule shall be arranged to best suit availability.

For audition pieces and further information please contact me.


Fiona Smith


Contact Details:  To get in touch with the director before the Reading/Audition, please use the Contact page of this website and your message will be forwarded.

NOTE:   We have an open casting policy:  anyone can audition for our productions and, if cast, will then be required to join as a Full Member.

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