Audition - The Winter's Tale

Directed by Gill Morrell

6th - 11th July 2020- Cleeve House, Seend, SN12 6PG

This late play offers fantastic parts with real depth. Starting with a gripping story of jealousy in the cold Sicilian winter, with sumptuous eighteenth century court costumes and formal dances, it jumps to the wild jollifications of the sheep shearing festival in Bohemia, full of romantic love, rustic charm and comedy, before high summer in Sicily resolves all the troubles. Real life, in fact.

I'm very excited about The Winter's Tale - getting the balance between tragedy and comedy, dealing with the special effects (including the bear!), creating tension, violence and quiet menace in the early scenes and magic and romance in the later ones, getting to grips with an amazing text, and getting the best out of our talented actors.

THE CAST

· 10 major roles, 7 for men, 3 for women, although Autolycus could possibly be female

· 12+ other speaking roles

· many roles can be doubled between Sicily and Bohemia

· some non-speaking roles but most will have lines

· at least one child, Mamillius - possibly the part could be shared, but more children are very welcome

· in addition, I'm hoping to have some real sheep and there is also the bear (famously, Act Three ends 'Exit, pursued by a Bear')

Leontes - the King - male, 30 - 50 major role

Hermione - the Queen - female, 25 - 40 major role

Mamillius - his son, dies in Act 2 - male but could be played by a girl, 7 - 12

Emilia - Hermione's waiting woman - female, any age

Perdita - Leontes's lost daughter - female, 16 - 20 major role

Antigonus - a courtier and adviser, dies at the end of the first half - male, 30 +

Paulina - wife to Antigonus - female, 30+ major role

Polixenes - King of Bohemia - male, 30 -50 major role

Florizel - Polixenes's son - male, 20- 30 major role

Archimadus - Lord accompanying Polixenes to Sicily - male or female, any age

Cleomenes - courtier sent to Delphi - male or female, any age

Dion - courtier sent to Delphi - male or female, any age

Camillo - trusted courtier - male, 40+ major role

Autolycus - a rogue - probably male, any age major role

Time - the chorus - male or female, any age, possibly multi-voiced

Gaoler - probably male, any age

Mariner - probably male, any age

Old Shepherd - male, 50+ major role

Young Shepherd's son (Clown) - male, 20 - 30 major role

Shepherd's servant - male or female, any age

Mopsa - a peasant girl - female, any age but in love with Young Shepherd

Dorcas - a peasant girl - female, any age but in love with Young Shepherd

THE AUDITION PROCESS

There are two main audition sessions - 2pm - 6pm on Saturday 7th December, and 9am - 12.30pm on Sunday 8th December. You are asked to specify in advance when you will be coming. There will also be opportunity to meet Gill separately if you really can't make the audition weekend, preferably beforehand. We genuinely welcome new members to the cast and crew.

You don't need to prepare anything in particular for the auditions, which will use sections from the play to try out different people in different parts. It is useful to know if you'd like to try for any particular parts, but flexibility is really valued.

The rehearsal process and the show week

We will have a read through and 'getting to know each other' session on a Sunday in January or February. The main rehearsals will start on Sunday 19th April and will continue every Sunday from 10am - 4pm, usually at Cleeve. There will also be mid-week rehearsals which will be set up to suit the people called. The final week starts with get in on Saturday 4th July, tech and dress rehearsals on Sunday 5th, followed by the seven performances, at 8pm Monday 6th - Saturday 11th and also at 2pm on the Saturday. Finally, the get out will be on Sunday 12th.

Membership and Volunteering

If you are given a part in the performance you will automatically become a Volunteer and a member of Shakespeare Live for the duration of the project.

Volunteering and Membership are currently free. However, a proposal to be debated by our members is that actors should pay a small performers' fee to help offset our high production costs.

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