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T O P I C R E V I E W
Posted - 03/03/2009 : 12:33:33Audition Notice
After Mrs Rochester by Polly Teale
Performance dates: 16 - 20 June 2009 Director: Mary Keenan
Read through Wednesday 11th March at 7.30pm with auditions on Wednesday 18th March at 7.30pm, both at The Oakwood Centre, Woodley
After Mrs Rochester tells the story of novelist Jean Rhys. Jean was a white Creole, born in the West Indies in 1890 who came to England when she was seventeen. She led a self-destructive and restless life, feeling misplaced in society. But she had a passion for literature. Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre particularly fascinated her because in Bertha Mason, the first Mrs Rochester - the "madwoman in the attic", she discovered a West Indian character tucked into the pages of English literature. This character grabbed her imagination and eventually led her to write the award-winning novel Wide Sargasso Sea.
The play takes place in an attic room. As Jean, battling with depression and alcoholism, begins to remember her past the characters enter the space. The play interweaves key events from the West Indies and Europe, with those from Jane Eyre.
Also in the attic is Bertha Mason, acting almost as Jean's alter ego. She is on stage throughout the play gaining a stronger presence as Jean's own madness starts to emerge.
All of the parts are challenging, exciting and interesting. 3 of the women and both men will be playing multiple parts some very swift turn rounds so the ability to change character on the spot will be part of that challenge!
Female 1 (40s- 50s) Jean Rhys On stage throughout, narrating, re-living and interacting with Ella and Bertha
Female 2 (30s-40s) Bertha Mason On stage throughout, starting off with less discernible mutterings and becoming increasingly stronger and coherent. The cramped attic conditions give her an animal like quality and she spends much of her time on all fours.
Female 3 (20s-30s) Ella (the young Jean) On stage throughout. Ages from about 12 to 50
Female 4 (20s-30s) Daughter, Jane Eyre, School girl, other girl, Shop Assistant
Female 5 (20s-30s) Tite (Ella's friend), Meta, Voice Teacher, Maudie, Police Officer Playing ages from 12 to adult. Looking for this to be played by a black actress.