15th December 2022 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
Please note, due to adverse weather conditions there is a change to the schedule for this week.
The readthrough of the two Caryl Churchill plays on 13th December takes place on Zoom at 7.30pm – NOT at the theatre. There will be NO meeting on Thursday 15th December
The auditions for BOTH plays will be at the theatre on Sunday 18th December at 1.30-3pm for ‘Escaped Alone’ and from 3pm for ‘A Number’
Kelly will accommodate anyone who has difficulties with these times or dates by auditioning on line .
Duration = Approximately 1 hour
Cast = Four Women in their 60s or 70s
Three old friends – Sally, Vi and Lena – spend a summer afternoon (or several summer afternoons) chatting in Sally’s back garden. They are joined by a neighbour, Mrs Jarrett, who regularly breaks away from their group to deliver monologues describing a postapocalyptic future. Caryl Churchill’s play juxtaposes tea with catastrophe, while exploring themes of ecological disaster, unspoken turmoil, and female endurance.
Black comedy. The dialogue between the four women is made up of fragmented thoughts and half-finished sentences. The effect is somewhere between naturalistic and abstract, a kind of hyper-realism. There’s a lack of stage directions and punctuation. The intention of this is to grant creative freedom to the actors and director. Add your own punctuation, your own pauses and pacing, shape the dialogue how you think best.
Set and Tech
A small island of green turf centre stage with four garden chairs and a low table set with tea and biscuits. The outskirts of the stage would look dark, desolate and ruined, like a derelict building that has been ransacked and then abandoned. Sound and lighting would be used to create an apocalyptic atmosphere for Mrs J’s monologues.
Mrs Jarrett (60s/70s) – A neighbour, more so than a close friend, perhaps the reason she is the only one of the group who is not known by her first name. She worked as a lollipop lady and is implied to be the most working class. She says the least in the group scenes but has the most monologues, during which she appears to be an apocalypse survivor.
Vi (60s/70s) – The blunt no-nonsense one of the group. We learn that she was in prison for six years after receiving a manslaughter sentence for killing her husband. She insists that it was an act of self-defence. This killing led to an estranged relationship with her son.
Sally (60s/70s) – The funny bubbly host of the garden gathering. Sally is close friends with Vi. We learn she witnessed her crime many years ago. She has a crippling phobia of a cats.
Lena (60s/70s) – An anti-social agoraphobic. She is quietly struggling with depression. She finds it hard to get out of bed or to do simple things such as visit the shops.
A Number (Caryl Churchill, 2002)
Duration = Approximately 1 hour
Cast = Two Men, one 35–40, one 60+
Bernard has recently discovered that he is one of ‘a number’ of human clones. His father Salter confesses to him that he was once friends with a scientist who must have taken his son’s DNA and used it to create these copies. It is later revealed that Bernard himself is a clone of Salter’s only son, who he put into childcare after the death of his wife. This clone experiment was brought about by Salter wanting a second chance at fatherhood. It comes back to haunt him when the original Bernard tracks him down.
Psychological sci-fi thriller. Half father/son story and half speculative exploration into the ethics of genetic experimentation and nature vs nurture.
Set and Tech
All the scenes take place in Salter’s home, a simple living room set with some futuristic touches to indicate the near-future setting of the play. No major sound or lighting effects would be required, just blackouts for the scene changes.
Salter (60s/70s) – The father of Bernard 1 and adoptive father of Bernard 2, a clone he made of his son, who he put into care at age four. Salter abandoned his original child because he was too grief-stricken over his wife’s death to be a good parent.
Bernard 1, Bernard 2 and Michael Black (30s/40s) – All three characters are played by the same actor. Bernard 1 is Salter’s original son, who has grown into an angry damaged man, embittered that his father replaced him. Bernard 2 is naïve and sheltered, as Salter has kept the truth of his origins secret from him until the start of the play. Michael Black is another clone of the original Bernard, who comes to meet Salter for the first time at the end of the play. Michael is an amiable family man and teacher.
Please Note: The information regarding this event was correct at the date of publication. Whilst we strive to keep our information up to date, this information can change without notice. Please check with the event before attending.