by Caryl Churchill
directed by Ian Amos
AUDITION DATES: Tues 30 July 7 - 10pm and Sat 4 August 11am - 4pm
Recalls - Saturday 10 August 12 - 4pm
Production dates: Fri 1 to Sat 7 November
Rehearsals: from 1 September
FEN follows the harsh lives of women working on the land in the East Anglian fens, their domestic and social lives, and mostly unattainable aspirations: It’s a tough play, but punctuated with moments of humour. Set in the early 1980s, the play is coloured with the direct quotes and direct experiences of local people that Churchill and the Joint Stock Theatre Company had interviewed.
In casting FEN the aim is to create an ensemble cast. It is likely that I will have a cast of 4 to 6 women (the women as a group will probably cover a wide age range from 20 to 65+)
and 1 or 2 men (I will either cast ONE man probably early 30s but able to play older or TWO men 1 x early 30s, 1 x mid 40s +). Most will play a number of parts. There are parts from young children to a 90 year old woman so an ability to create a number of contrasting strongly defined characters is essential. It is likely (but not certain) that VAL, a character that runs through the whole play, will be played by one actress and she will play no other parts.
To give you an idea of the sheer variety of the characters:
A JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN
MRS HASSETT 45, gangmaster. Tough
SHIRLEY 50, never stops: works, runs the home for her husband (Geoffrey)
NELL 40, a proper character. Must be able to story tell. The children think she is a witch.
ANGELA 28, Works on land. Abuses her stepdaughter – but there is still a strange bond between them.
VAL 30, Works on the land. Torn between her children and her man (Frank)
FRANK 30, Farm worker. In love with Val
DEB (9)/Shona (6) Val’s daughters
BECKY 15, Angela’s step-daughter
MAY 60, Val’s mother. Looks after her children
MR TEWSON 55, A farmer
MISS CADE 35, from the City
GHOST a woman land worker from the 19th century
GEOFFREY 60, Shirley’s husband. Old school male
MRS FINCH 40, the Baptist minister’s wife
MAVIS/MARGARET/ALICE 30s, part of Baptist meeting.
IVY 90, May’s mother
The auditions will take the form of preparing small scenes from the play in groups and then ‘presenting’ them. You do not need to learn these scenes – just be familiar with them. They will be emailed to you. Please bring a copy with you to work from– either printed off or on phone/tablet.
You might also to take a look/listen and these clips of Norfolk/East Anglia/Fenland accent – which is the territory we will be aiming for (but don’t worry if you don’t use them for the auditions):
ALL are welcome to audition for plays at NVT but if cast you will be required to be or become a member of NVT prior to rehearsals starting. Please note that NVT is an amateur theatre and that everyone works voluntarily on productions.