The Winter's Tale - Reading and Audition Notice

Reading:                                           Sunday 14th October, 6.00 pm

                                                          Foyer, Hampton Hill Theatre

Audition:                                          Sunday 21st October

                                                          4.00 pm - Movement & Voice, 6.00 pm – Main parts

                                                         Coward Suite, Hampton Hill Theatre

Performance Dates:                      Saturday 26th January – Friday 1st February 2019

 

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

Directed by Michelle Hood

 

What do you do when authority- which should be all the things that we’d love it to be, rational, objective, coolly moral and right - is just human? - The Globe Theatre

This is one of Shakespeare’s later plays written around 1609-1611.  It is described as a tragi-comedy as The Winter’s Tale presents two distinct parts. The first half explores ‘morbid jealousy’ as Leontes, who is a king with much authority, is thrown into a jealous rage.  He suspects his great friend Polixenes and his wife Hermione of an affair.  Leontes’ position of power, coupled with his jealous fantasies that his unborn child is actually his best friend’s love child, leads him to make choices and decisions that ultimately destroy his family and loses his daughter.  

The second half is a contrast to the first with great moments of comedy, set some 16 years later in a rural setting.  It opens with Perdita, the lost Princess, and Florizel, Prince of Bohemia, having fallen in love and enjoying the celebration of the Feast of Harvest.  We eventually return to Sicilia where Paulina, a noblewoman and great friend to Hermione, has a secret… 

 

Casting

My vision is a production which remains true to Shakespeare and celebrates the magic of The Winter’s Tale. Audiences will enjoy the language and the fantastic story of love and redemption, which owns that most famous stage direction ‘exit, pursued by a bear.’  This is known to be one of Shakespeare’s ‘problem plays’ as it unfolds in two genres.  The first half will be set in the Regency Period and explores intense dark themes. The second half opens with laughter and love with music and dance - think Dirty Dancing meets Shakespeare.  

This will be a gender blind production and women are welcome to audition for male parts, but will be asked to perform them as a male.  Some singing and dancing will be required in the second half. 

 

SICILIA

 

Leontes - The king of Sicilia and the childhood friend of the Bohemian King Polixenes.  

(Male – 35+ This character ages 16 years by the end of the play) 

 

Mamillius - The young prince of Sicilia, Leontes and Hermione's son. 

(Male/ Female but played as a male – 8 year old child) 

 

Camillo - An honest Sicilian nobleman  

(Male – 35+ This character ages 16 years by the end of the play) 

 

Antigonus – A Sicilian lord and Paulina’s husband who is pursued by the bear at the end of Act 1.  

(Male 35+) 

 

Cleomenes – A Sicilian lord  

(Male/ Female but plays as male - Small part -20s) 

 

Dion - A Sicilian lord  

(Male/ Female but plays as male - Small part -20s) 

 

Hermione - The virtuous and beautiful Queen of Sicilia.  

(Female - 25+) 

 

Perdita - The daughter of Leontes and Hermione, but unaware of her royal lineage. 

(Female - 16 -18) 

 

Paulina - A noblewoman of Sicily, she is fierce in her defence of Hermione's virtue. 

(Female – 30+ This character ages 16 years by the end of the play) 

 

Emilia/Lady in Waiting 2 - One of Hermione's ladies-in-waiting.   

(Female 25+) 

 

Lady-in-Waiting 1

(Female - Small part– any age) 

 

Rogero - A Sicilian gentleman 

(Male 30+) 

 

Mariner, Gaoler, Servants

(Male/ Female - Small parts - any age) 

 

 

BOHEMIA

 

Polixenes - the king of Bohemia and Leontes' boyhood friend. 

(Male – 35+ This character ages 16 years by the end of the play) 

 

Florizel - Polixenes's only son and heir. 

(Male -18-20) 

 

Autolycus - A roguish peddler, vagabond, and pickpocket.  Big comedy role.   

(Male/ Female – played as a male 30+) 

 

Shepherd OR shepherdess - An old and honourable sheep-tender  

(Older Male/Female 40+) 

 

Shepherd’s son (Clown) - The Shepherd's buffoonish son and Perdita's adopted brother.  

(Male/ Female but plays as a male 20+) 

 

Archidamus - A nobleman of Bohemia who opens the play.   

(Male 35+)  

 

Mopsa – Shepherdess of the rural village  

(Young Female) 

 

Dorcas – Shepherdess of the rural village 

(Young Female)  

 

Time – Announces the passing of 16 years 

(Male/Female - Small part – any age) 

 

Shepherds and Shepherdesses - these parts are to be played by members of the cast 

 

Michelle Hood

Director

 

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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