Pickwick and Weller
by Barry Purchese
with more than a nod towards Charles Dickens
Directed by Rod Lewis
12th – 20th April 2019 in the Studio.
Saturday 1st December 2pm - 6pm in the Studio NVT
Sunday 2nd December 11am – 1pm in the Studio NVT
Saturday 8th December 11am – 1pm in the Studio NVT
Sunday 9th December 10am - 6pm in the Studio NVT
RECALLS Wednesday 12th December 7pm - 10pm in the Studio NVT
The auditions will be run as workshop auditions and you will read for several parts.
Whilst we are trying to see you for your preferred role, we might ask you to read for a different part, as several parts are looking at similar ages and characteristics.
Samuel Pickwick is a warm hearted and well meaning man of advancing years, but, despite his age, still something of an innocent. As he sets forth on his adventures into the wider world he is easy pickings for rogues such as Alfred Jingle and the rascally lawyers Dodson and Fogg. He is in need of a protector and no-one comes better qualified than the street wise Sam Weller. Sam, with his singular brand of philosophy, never fails to make us laugh as he comes to the rescue of Pickwick time and again. Samuel Pickwick, Sam and Tony Weller, Alfred Jingle, Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, Dodson and Fogg, Dr Slammer, Mrs Bardell ... Just a few of the kaleidoscope of comic characters who come together in this Dickensian romp, that gives us a perception of the human condition which is both insightful and extremely funny.
For many characters an age has not been specified, there can be some flexibility in casting.
SAMUEL PICKWICK - Comfortable late middle age. Avuncular and well intentioned but too trusting when exposed to the outside world and too quick to anger when that trust is be-trayed.
SAM WELLER - Late 20s/30s. Cheekily impertinent but with a definite edge of the streets about him. Genial with a very shrewd eye when it comes to assessing others. Exemely loyal to, and protective of, Pickwick.
TONY WELLER - 50S/60s. Sam Weller's dad. An ebullient coach driver who is even more comfortable astride the bar stool from which he dispenses his own philosophical take on the world which includes a marked aversion to widows and poetry.
ALFRED JINGLE - A lively and entertaining character (30s+) with a singular way of expressing him-self. Masquerading as a man of financial substance he is, in fact, an actor and a con man but no less likeable for that.
MARY - Sweetheart to Sam Weller but astute, bright and resolute when she has set her mind to something.
MRS BARDELL - None too bright but dotingly affectionate housekeeper to Pickwick.
Below three men in their late 20s/early 30s are members of The Pickwick Club. Looking upon Pickwick as a father figure they are all pleasant enough but none too bright and all rather innocent in the ways of the world. The image they have of themselves as a sportsman, poet and ladies man is based in fantasy rather than anything they have actually achieved.
NATHANIEL WINKLE - Claims to be a sportsman, but he is not.
AUGUSTUS SNODGRASS - A poet of sorts.
TRACY TUPMAN - Fancies himself as a ladies man.
DR SLAMMER - Highly irascible military man obsessed with 'good form' and ever ready to defend his honour.
DR PAYNE - Military surgeon present at the duel. Even more of a stickler for 'good form' than Dr Slammer and desperate for some blood to be spilled. Both he and Slammer are hugely comical characters.
DODSON & FOGG - A pair of rascally lawyers who work as a double act to lure clients into their clutches before extorting from them every penny they can.
JACKSON - Clerk to Dodson and Fogg and accomplice to them.
MR PERKER - Pickwick's lawyer and friend. Nonetheless, he often irritates Pickwick by being a little too openly admiring of the duplicitous ploys employed by the rascally law-yers Dodson and Fogg.
GUMMER - Officer of the law. Officious and 'by the book' but equipped with a truncheon to sway any doubters over to his way of thinking.
MAGISTRATE NUPKINS - Bumptious, vain and gullible. Another dupe for the wiles of Alfred Jingle.
JUSTICE STARELEIGH - Presiding judge in the breach of promise case.
SERGEANT BUZZFUZZ - Counsel for the prosecution in the breach of promise case.
SERGEANT SNUBBINS - Counsel for the defence in the breach of promise case.
ROKER - Pickwick's jailer who has a variety of ways of extracting money from the men in his charge.
CAB DRIVER - Any age but worn down by life and is consequently cantankerous and suspicious.
SMANGLE & MIVINS - Two comical but ruffian prisoners who are seen off by Sam Weller.
ELDERLY WIDOW - The elderly widow is a non speaking part
MISS WITHERFIELD - We hear but do not see Miss Witherfield.
DUBBLEY - Assistant to Gummer. Non speaking role.
COURT OFFICIAL - Could use voice off.
VARIOUS JAILERS - For 'portrait' scene. Not absolutely necessary.