The Sweet Science of Bruising
by Joy Wilkinson
directed by Gaby Bowring & Bryony Weaver
Production dates - Friday 12th July – Saturday 20th July 2024
AUDITIONS will be held individually in 30-minute slots, and will be held in the NVT’s South Hall on:
• Saturday 2nd March from 1-5pm
• Sunday 3rd March from 10am-2.30pm
• Thursday 7th March from 7-10pm
• Saturday 9th March from 10am-2pm
RECALLS - 26th March at 7pm
These will be group recalls, so you will need to be available throughout.
REHEARSALS will be held at the NVT on two weekday evenings, and one weekend day. We intend to start the stage combat training in March/April - this will take place at an external venue. Full rehearsal schedule TBC.
1869, Islington, a working-class, run-down borough in North London. The Suffragette movement is in its infancy, and it’s a time of inequality, dissention and poverty.
The Sweet Science of Bruising tells the story of four very different women, each one drawn into the world of exhibition pugilism: Violet Hunter, a nurse with ambitions of becoming a doctor; Anna Lamb, an abused wife and mother for whom boxing becomes a way to fight back; Matilda Blackwell (‘Matinee Matty’), who finds flashing her fists more satisfying than flashing her ankles when times are hard; and Polly Stokes, a hard-talking, hard-punching pit brow lass who dreams of becoming a prize fighter.
Each woman enters the ring under the instruction of ex-boxer and showman ‘Professor’ Charlie Sharp, taking hits and trading blows for the title of ‘Lady Boxing Champion of the World’. They fight each other, and against the expectations of the men around them, in a battle for a better future.
CHARACTERS (with approx. playing ages)
*Professor Charlie Sharp: 40-60. Working-class London accent
*Violet Hunter: 25-40. Middle-class RP accent
*Matilda ‘Matty’ Blackwell: 25-40. Working-class Irish accent
*Anna Lamb: 25-40. Middle-class RP accent
*Polly Stokes: 20-35. Working-class Lancashire accent
**Aunt George: 40-55. Middle-class RP accent
Emily: 20-35. Middle-class RP accent (also plays Nancy, Anna’s maid)
*Paul Stokes: 25-35. Working-class Lancashire accent (also plays Captain Danby)
Gabriel Lamb: 30-40. Middle-class RP accent (also plays Lord Cavendish)
Dr James Bell: 40-50. Middle-class RP accent (also plays Dr Forster/Referee)
• Characters marked with a * require the actor to be physically prepared to undertake stage combat training for live, choreographed boxing matches and training scenes within the play.
• **Aunt George and Violet Hunter will also have fencing training for a short scene.
• Due to time constraints, each auditionee can only read for a maximum of two characters - if you also wish to be considered for an additional character, please make this clear to the directors at your audition.
When you have confirmed your audition date/time slot, the directors will send you a copy of the play, which they would like you to have read in full prior to your audition, as well as the details of your chosen character(s) audition scenes. Printed copies of these scenes will be available on the day.
NB: This an open audition, but if you become a member of the cast you will be expected to become an NVT member.
To enquire about audition pieces and book your 30-minute audition slot, please contact the directors Gaby (