AUDITION NOTICE

MURDER IN THE CATHEDRAL by T. S. Eliot
DIRECTOR: ROBERT LOWE

Playing dates 28th October – 7th November
Rehearsals commence early September

WORKSHOP/AUDITION DATES:

Saturday 4th April at 2.30pm at the theatre
Sunday 5th April at 10.30am at the theatre

The Director’s vision for the production:

Murder in the Cathedral is without doubt the finest verse drama of the twentieth century and is crying out for revival in 2020, which is the 850th anniversary of Becket’s death, and the 800th anniversary of the moving of his body into the shrine where it now rests in Canterbury Cathedral. Many important commemorations are being arranged under the overall banner of Becket2020: including a major exhibition at the British Museum which opens the week before our production, and a production of the play in Canterbury Cathedral the same week we open.

So we are very fortunate and indeed honoured to have won the rights to stage our own production this year.

This will NOT be a traditional, medieval set production, but will be in modern dress. The intention is to use live on-stage camera feeds and off-stage video work, alongside a clear focus on the beautiful language and choral speaking of this stunning text. I also see the play as a reflection on current politics world-wide, with a group of citizens (the chorus) observing and commenting upon the actions of one man who opposes a tyrant’s will, leading to his martyrdom. ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?’ says (or tweets) the King, and four people step forward to interpret these words by murdering Thomas on the altar and then explaining their actions directly to the audience. The audience becomes the judge of what is the right thing to do in times of political unrest.

I am looking for a large cast of actors to come and take part in this very important piece of theatre! Because of the nature of the piece there is plenty of room for those with more limited stage experience, but it will also require seasoned performers who can handle complex text. Young and old alike – all welcome!

Auditions:
These will take the form of workshops looking at the language and physicality of choral speaking. We will explore text, movement and character. Individual auditions will then follow for those interested in playing Becket.

The Characters:
As it will be a production set in 2020, the ages and genders of the characters is undetermined. In other words all roles are up for grabs by anyone! (Except Becket, who will have to be male).

Archbishop Thomas Becket
A massive role that should attract our very top actors, who could be any age between 30 and 70. A love of language and verse speaking required. Becket is a highly moral man, who struggles with the temptations that are put in his way on his path to martyrdom.
If you are interested in playing Becket you should come to one of the auditions, but please also contact the director requesting an individual audition on rml.stratford@gmail.com

The Chorus
Can be any number and any division of gender. In this production they are likely to be the homeless and forgotten people of Canterbury, including asylum-seekers and immigrants looking for a shelter in a supposedly safer place than the one they have escaped. The chorus are likely to be on stage (or in the audience) for the whole play.
All other roles may well come from the Chorus. These include:

The Four Knights
The four murderers of Becket, whose main role is first to threaten him, then kill him and then explain their actions. They are four individuals with clearly defined characters.

The Four Tempters
Personifications of the temptations in Thomas’s mind: past pleasures, political power, the adulation of the people, and the pull of sainthood and everlasting life through fame. Often played in masks, I would like to find a different theatrical presentation for them…..

Three Priests

A Messenger

If you are interested in the play but cannot make the audition dates, or for any further information, please contact the director, Robert Lowe at rml.stratford@gmail.com or Artistic Director, Sue Moore at suemoore@lofttheatrecompany.com

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