Daisy Pulls It Off - Reading and Audition Notice

Reading:                      Sunday 2nd June, 6.00 pm, Auditorium, Hampton Hill Theatre
Audition:                     Sunday 16th June, 6.00 pm, Coward Suite, Hampton Hill Theatre
Performance Dates:  Saturday 28th September – Friday 4th October 2019 (Auditorium)

Daisy Pulls It Off by Denise Deegan
Directed by Clare and Wesley Henderson Roe

What Larks!

This ripping Girls Own yarn will tug at the heartstrings of those with fond memories of such annuals yet still appear fresh to those too young to remember them.

It is 1927 and a forward thinking small private girls school decides to take in a scholarship girl for the first time. Not everyone at the school, including some members of staff, are convinced of the efficacy of this policy. Indeed, several of the girls plot to get this new bug – Daisy – removed by hook or by crook.

The ensuing tale, while redolent of that time between the wars, still has morals to tell that apply to modern living and the codes of conduct of all right-minded people.

With fabulous characters and great humour, the play follows Daisy’s trials and tribulations beginning with her train journey to her temporary new home and ending with a possible expulsion.

Can she overcome the prejudices of her classmates? Can she hold her own in classes unfamiliar to her? Can she help find the Beaumont treasure and save the school from possible closure? Will she pull through and reign triumphant? Is there a clue in the title?

First performed in 1983 in Southampton before transferring to the West End, the play starred such soon-to-be luminaries as Samantha Bond and Caroline Goodall and has been a favourite of amateur and professional companies ever since.

Clare went to a boarding school rather like the Grangewood of the piece, so has a strong affinity with the subject material, plus one of her school chums, Helena Little, played Trixie Martin in that original production.

Clare has directed the piece once before in a studio theatre setting, and so is looking forward to seeing afresh what the piece can bring in a larger space and with greater production possibilities. Wesley on the other hand is looking forward to creating a set to rival his Something’s Afoot of several years ago, as well as collaborating as the co-director of the piece.

The team are looking for actors in their 20s to early 40s to play the girls, and 40s to early 70s to play the adults. Each actor will need to convey complete belief in the playing age of their character. The minor roles and doubling will be decided post auditions. Everyone will sing in the assemblies, but only Daisy has a solo line, so all voice abilities welcome.

 

Roles in order of size

GIRLS

Daisy Meredith - Principal role – on stage almost throughout. Playing age 14+. Solo singer in one song. Our heroine, the scholarship girl, sister to four younger brothers, intelligent, quick-witted, sporty, honourable, forgiving and honest fourth-former and a natural leader.

Trixie Martin - Principal role – on stage almost as much as Daisy. Playing age 14+.  Poet of the upper fourth who takes Daisy under her wing and becomes her best friend and confidant.  Madcap and mischievous in a responsible way, loyal and sensible, sporty, mother probably an artist, father works in the city.

Sybil Burlington - Supporting principal. Playing age 14+.  Vice-Captain of the upper fourth, the conceited and beautiful only daughter of very wealthy parents, campaign leader to get rid of Daisy;  a troubled snob who wants for nothing except perhaps affection.

Monica Smithers - Supporting principal. Playing age 14+. School toady and sidekick to Sybil, monied but not over-bright, awkward and gangling, possible lisp? She lacks parental interest as they may live abroad.

Clare Beaumont - Supporting principal. Playing age 16+. Head girl and sports captain of the school, a shining example of young British womanhood, confident and poised, all the younger girls have a crush on her, well respected and looked up to.

Alice Fitzpatrick - Supporting principal. Playing age 16+. Prefect and deputy sports captain, best friend to Clare, wealthy Irish background possibly race horse or stud farm owners, motherly figure for the younger girls.

Belinda Mathieson - Medium role. Playing age 14+. Captain of the upper fourth, open minded and fair, middle of the road academically, organised and sporty, responsible, probably from an upper middle-class background.

Dora Johnston - More minor role. Playing age 14+. Upper fourth girl, bookish, possible serial eater?

Winnie Irving - More minor role. Playing age 12+. Spokesperson for the first and second forms, busy and forthright, has misgivings about scholarship pupils, a younger Belinda?

Diana, Jill Timms, Rosie Wildgust, Katy Collins - Minor roles to populate the classroom and assembly scenes.  No individual lines, but general classroom banter and get to sing the school song and hymns, cheer on the hockey game, act as scene shifters etc.

 

ADULTS

Miss Gibson - Medium role. Playing age early 40s. Young, much loved headmistress, firm but fair with ‘modern’ views, spinster, trying to make the scholarship scheme work but has doubts, admired and looked up to by the girls.

Miss Granville - Minor role. Playing age 60s. Form mistress of the upper fourth, strong misgivings over the scholarship idea, old school traditionalist, probably well into her 60s.

Mother - Minor role in opening scene.  Will double as a member of staff or possibly one of the girls. Daisy’s widowed mother raising a family of five who is well-spoken but has fallen on hard times.

Mademoiselle - Minor role. Playing age late 40s – mid 50s. Scatter-brained French teacher, school librarian, needs a strong accent.

Mr Scoblowski - Minor role. Playing age 50s – 70s.  Ideally piano player. Enigmatic Russian music teacher, treasure hunter, acts covertly and suspiciously.

Mr Thompson - Minor role. Playing age 40s – 50s. Assistant gardener, recluse, mysterious whistling man.  Is seen fleetingly and heard offstage until final scene.

School Pianist - Support role in pre-show and assembly scenes. Any age.  Another female member of staff - if Mr Scoblowski is unable to play the piano.

Matron and Miss Calder - Support roles in pre-show and assembly scenes. Any age. Miss Calder is the form mistress of the fourth-year girls.

 

If you would like any further information, please contact us.

Clare and Wesley Henderson Roe
Directors

 

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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