Pornography - Reading and Audition Notice

Reading:                           Sunday 7th July, 6.00 pm, Foyer, Hampton Hill Theatre
Audition:                          Sunday 14th July, 6.00 pm, Coward Suite, Hampton Hill Theatre
Performance Dates:      Sunday 17th November – Saturday 23rd November 2019 (Coward Studio)

Pornography by Simon Stephens
Directed by Josh Clarke

I am going to keep this short and to the point, because it’s all been said before by far more eloquent people than me.

But our words have no impact upon you; therefore I’m going to talk to you in a language that you understand. Our words are dead until we give them life with our blood.

What you need to do is stand well clear of the yellow line.

One week in July 2005. Live 8. G8. London 2012 Olympic bid. 7/7.

Britain feels like the centre of the world. World-changing politics, gigantic charity concerts, the chance to host the Olympics; everything’s happening, and everyone’s talking about it. In schools, offices, streets, shops, parks and homes – there’s a buzz in the air, a sense of anticipation. The world’s eyes are focused on Britain and you can feel the energy and endless possibilities. But in less than an hour in central London, everything will change.

Pornography was written in reaction to London crashing from the euphoria and promise at being awarded the 2012 Olympics into the chaos and reality of the 7/7 bombings. The play was first presented in 2007 in Hanover, Germany and received its English language premiere at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in August 2008 as part of the International Edinburgh Festival before transferring to the Birmingham Rep. This is the first stage play to confront the London bombings of 7th July 2005.

For those who do not know this play, it is worth considering that it is composed of seven blocks of text that serve as a countdown to the catastrophic attack on London. There are no characters indicated and therefore no lines allocated. Stephens prefaces the text by saying, ‘this play can be performed in any order by any number of actors.’  From a director’s point of view, I was at first terrified by such a daunting task.  What the hell am I supposed to do with this? How many people do I cast? Who says what?  What order should they go in?  Thankfully I got over that phase relatively quickly when I realised I had practically a blank canvas to work on and free reign to do what I liked with it, which was an exciting prospect for sure.

I have now whittled it down to a cast of eight - four monologues and two duologues. The order of text will most likely be constantly changing.


Characters: (playing ages are approximate and not set in stone)

Working mum (female) playing age 25 – 40: a new mum who shows signs of post-natal depression. She works as a secretary for an abusive boss.

Jason - a schoolboy (male) playing age 16 – 25: a lonely outcast who develops a chilling obsession with his female teacher, which turns venomous.

Brother (male) playing age 20-30 and Sister (female) playing age 20-30: the sister returns to her brother’s life having been away for a while under suspicious circumstances. They guiltily explore forbidden love.

Man with backpack (male) playing age 25-35: a man with a backpack and a plan to carry out, travelling south on his final deadly journey.

Student (female) playing age 25-30 and Tutor (male) Playing age 40-60: a tutor reconnects with a former student after many years and makes an ill judged move.

Elderly widow (female) Playing age 60+: a lonely widow who rails against the modern world, watches pornography for comfort and a break from her constant isolation.


If you would like any further information please do not hesitate to get in touch. I can’t wait to get started, see you all there!

Josh Clarke

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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