AUDITION NOTICE for
By Alan Bennett
Production: April 25th – 30th 2016
Audition: Sunday 29th November - 3pm
Habeas Corpus is one of Alan Bennett’s earliest plays.
Here is a production that employs all manner of comedy; fast paced and funny incorporating quirky characters, clever dialogue, visual gags, double entendres, innuendo, a narrator, breaking of the fourth wall, song, poetry, and, essentially, trouser-dropping.
A (sort of) Greek tragedy with Shakespeare’s exits and entrances -only quicker - woven into Cooneyesque mix-ups and mayhem. A seriously good farce.
Set in the late 60’s it’s an observational piece of social commentary on the class system, dalliances, deceit and the developing ‘permissive society’. Word of warning there is also a little bit of bosom holding, thick cardigans will be provided during rehearsals and production.
It is an ensemble piece requiring experienced character actors preferably with excellent comedy timing.
Cast of Characters
Dr Wicksteed - Bored & frustrated GP. Ready for retirement, tired of his patients. Rather unprofessional when it comes to young nubile ladies – ie. Miss Rumpers.
Mrs Wicksteed - The GP (Very) slightly younger wife, desperate for love and keeps trying to find it. Absolutely does not need a false bust.
Connie Wicksteed - The younger sister of Dr Wicksteed, spinster of the Parish, sadly lacking in confidence and flat as a pancake. Takes drastic measures to correct her plight.
Canon Throbbing – wishes to marry Connie, wishes to marry anyone who will take his virginity. Resorts to looking up Ladies’ skirts on trains.
Dennis Wicksteed – Son of Dr Wicksteed, hypochondriac, thinks he is dying in about three months.
Felicity Rumpers - A beauty, Canon Throbbing has already looked up her skirt and Dr Wicksteed would like to. However she is in a state of early pregnancy and needs a husband, preferably one who is dying in about three months.
Sir Percy Shorter – For some reason I hear his lines in a Scottish accent – President of the British Medical Association and don’t we all know it. Intensely dislikes Dr Wicksteed and sees a chance to report him to the BMA, mainly hated the fact that Wicksteed is taller than him, so no tall men to audition for Sir Percy.
Lady Rumpers – Felicity’s mum – did well in life marrying Lord Rumpers – Old Colonial, lived in KL (Kuala Lumpur not Kirby Lonsdale)
Mrs Swabb – Housekeeper to the Wicksteeds. Narrator – she knows everything.
Denzil Shanks – Appliance fitter for Connie.
Mr Purdue a suicidal patient of Dr Wicksteed’s who insists on trying to kill himself.
Set in the South (near Brighton) accents must reflect that, particularly The Wicksteeds’ and Rumpers’ families, not quite received pronunciation but getting there.
Shanks perhaps more Cockney. Purdue is open at the moment. Much as it pains me – no Northern accents this time.