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Audition Notice for “Ghost Writer”

Audition for Ghost Writer

Written by David Tristram, Directed by Pauline Davies (paulineadavies@bigpond.com; 0429 188 962)

Saturday 14th May 2.30pm

at Chelmer Community Hall, 15 Queenscroft St, Chelmer

Season Dates

Friday, Saturday7:30pm23, 29, 30 July, 5, 6, 12, 13 August
Sunday6:00pm31 July
Sunday2:00pm24 July, 7 August

Synopsis

Edward is a promising young playwright and husband of the talented but tempestuous actress Ruby. Tragically, Ruby is found dead in bed: an overdose of naughty pills and booze. A year later, Edward remains deeply affected and has moved into the attic room of one of his oldest actor friends, Alex, who is gay. We join the story on the first anniversary of the death of Ruby Pinfold.

Characters

Edward – age range 30s – 50s. Edward was a successful playwright until the sudden death of his wife 12 months earlier. He hasn’t written anything since. Still suffering from grief, Edward lives in his friend Alex’s attic in moderate squalor, surviving mostly on gin. The actor who plays Edward will need to be fully committed and attend every rehearsal as he is on stage throughout the whole play. It’s a great role with a range of emotions and energy levels that would suit an experienced actor.

Ruby – age range 30s – 50s. Ruby was a talented and tempestuous actress who died of a lethal combination of naughty pills and booze. She returns on the anniversary of her death to tell her husband she believes she was murdered, and that she wants him to find out who did it and why. Right from the start it is clear that theirs was a passionate and tumultuous marriage. She has a dominating personality and delivers some hilarious one-liners with acid wit. A fantastic role for an experienced actor who can play an outrageous and commanding drama queen with a subtle undercurrent of repressed fear and vulnerability. The biggest challenge for the actors playing this married couple is that the audience must be able to look past the surface squabbling and believe in their deep love for each other. Small physical challenge of climbing in and out of a window. Will be required at most rehearsals.

Alex – age range 30s – 40s. Alex is described as a handsome young man, but we can be a little flexible with both of those adjectives. He is very fond of Edward, to whom he is supportive, encouraging and kind, but doesn’t have a nice word to say about Ruby. By profession he is an actor and by inclination he is gay, but I don’t want him played in a camp or overly theatrical manner – rather as a strong, sensible and practical man. Required at most rehearsals.

Glenda – age range 20s – 40s. Glenda is an attractive woman who is set up on a blind date with Edward by Alex. She is newly divorced, nervous and lacking in self-confidence during her first scene (a one-on-one with Edward occurring 2/3 way through act 1). She is in most of act 2 with the whole cast and ends up being quite tipsy and loosens up. A nice role with room for development and lots of comic moments that would suit someone new to theatre (or an old hand). Can expect a few nights off in early rehearsals.

Frances – probably aged in her 40s but we can be flexible. Frances is a fading actress who isn’t getting lead roles any longer. She might have been a rival of Ruby’s when Ruby was alive, and there is no love lost between them now that she is dead (Ruby pokes fun of Frances’s rumoured face-lift). Frances has a long history with the other characters (apart from Glenda) and could be played a number of ways. Slight physical challenge of being required to fall backwards out of a window (we’ll make it safe, of course). A smaller role but could still be fun and challenging. Only required in act 2, so she can expect several nights off early in the rehearsal process.

Hedley – age range 50s – 70s. Hedley is an over-the-top theatrical ham – a boring old boozer who is well past his prime. He loves to bask in past glories and remind everyone that he was a big star in his heyday. Much fun is made (by Ruby) of his orange toupee (which takes on a life of its own), so the actor must be bald or thinning on top. Only required in act 2, so he can expect several nights off early in the rehearsal process.