Auditions

St Jude's Players Inc

Auditions are announced throughout the year preceding preparations for a particular show (say that 10 times quickly to warm up the enunciators). If you are interested in participating in one of our shows whether as a main character or a minor role, we are always looking for new talent and energy.

Announcements for Auditions will be made here, on Facebook and in our Newsletter to Members. We encourage you to join now if you aren't already a member and like us on Facebook so that you can be kept up to speed on what's happening with St. Jude's Players.

Auditions for new talent always welcome

Current Auditions

APRIL 2025 production-AUDITION NOTICE

Registration to audition required.
See details under AUDITION CONTACT-REGISTRATION.

LABOUR OF LOVE

by James Graham (Other plays include Ink, Dear England, This House)
A political comedy, Directed by Kym Clayton


ABOUT THE PLAY

Labour of Love is set in the local constituency office of British Labour MP David Lyons in North Nottinghamshire in the twenty-seven-year period between summer 1990 and spring 2017.

David Lyons MP cares about modernisation and "electability", but his constituency agent (i.e. chief of staff) Jean Whittaker cares about principles and her community. The action of the play is set far away from the Westminster bubble in the party's traditional northern heartlands, and explores the clash of philosophy, culture, and class against the backdrop of the Labour Party over a period of 25 years, as it moves from the time of labour leaders Kinnock through to Blair and Corbyn.

Although the play is about UK politics, it is written in a way that it evokes feelings about our own political system of party politics. Some themes are eternal!

The play begins on 9th June 2017, the early hours of the morning in a David Lyon’s constituency office. David waits anxiously with Jean for the results of the snap General Election, and the first reports suggest a hung parliament. Having been re-elected six times since 1990, David faces the possibility of finally being voted out while his party, despite some gains, looks likely to be denied victory for the third time in a row.

Why is Labour losing seats in its traditional northern heartland while winning ‘safe’ Conservative ones elsewhere? What’s shifted within the party and country as a whole? David and Jean have witnessed many changes within the Labour movement over the past three decades: the election of Tony Blair as leader in 1994 and the birth of ‘New Labour’; the party’s landslide victory in the 1997 General Election; reduced majorities in the 2001 and 2005 elections; Tony Blair stepping down in 2007; successive leaders, Gordon Brown, Ed Miliband and now Jeremy Corbyn…

Through it all they’ve worked together side-by-side – David advocating the need for a new approach, Jean championing the old values. Despite their many differences, a grudging respect has grown between them, and, with it, affection. All this is pulled into sharp focus by the return of David’s ex-wife, Elizabeth, who suggests they give their marriage another try… Having guided the MP through six successive victories, is his fiery constituency agent prepared to see him lose now on the home front?


REVIEWS

"... unexpectedly proven to be box office gold" ~ Time Out

"It is in fact startlingly funny, peppered with one-liners and jokes" ~ What's On Stage

"And what makes this such a good and gripping piece of theatre is that it doesn't preach us sermons about press ethics but leaves us to draw our own conclusions ... It strikes me as a first-rate play" ~ Guardian

"...diligently researched and informative ... an inventive hybrid of Much Ado About Nothing, Yes Minister and Stephen Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along" ~ The Evening Standard


ROLES AVAILABLE

There are six in the cast (3 female, 3 male) – English accents are required. All roles are being auditioned.

DAVID LYONS: CO-LEAD ROLE.

A labour MP; stage age late 40s-early 50s.
Cultured English accent. A Labour MP. A ‘few years younger’ than Jean, David was also born and brought up locally before winning a scholarship to Oxford University. Part of a new generation of Labour MPs, he’s keen to modernize the party, rebranding it in the hope of making it more electable after years in opposition. Jean’s concerned he’s more interested in image than content, but she recognises his passion and pragmatism. 534 cues.

JEAN WHITTAKER: CO-LEAD ROLE.

A constituency agent; stage age late 40s-early 50s.
Not a cultured English accent – more regional but not too broad. Actor playing this role will need to learn a few sentences in Cantonese. Born and bred in North Nottinghamshire, Jean’s been a card-carrying member of the Labour Party since the age of 14. Described by David as ‘hard as nails’, she’s spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the working-class left in her community. Her husband, a former miner, was the local Labour MP before ill health forced him to retire and David replaced him. 528 cues.

ELIZABETH LYONS:

David’s wife; stage age late 40s-early 50s.
Cultured English accent. A lawyer. Not a local, Elizabeth reluctantly followed her husband to his new constituency, although she thinks they should have waited for a seat closer to Westminster, Number 10 and, ultimately, a place in the cabinet – she has ambitions for her husband’s career to match her own and they don’t start in North Nottinghamshire. 156 cues.

LEN PRIOR:

a local councillor and party worker; stage age late 40s-early 50s.
Middle-class English accent. London born, nominally middle-class, with a slightly affected working-class tone’, Len is Secretary of the local Labour Party, eventually becoming Leader of the Council. A Fabian scholar, he’s always had his doubts about David’s loyalties to the grassroot party members, his frustrations barely concealing his own political ambitions. 82 cues

MARGOT MIDLER:

a constituent and party worker; stage age 30s
Regional English accent. Another local, Margot started her working life as a travel agent, campaigning for the local Labour Party in her spare time, before securing a position on the council and eventually becoming Deputy Leader. 58 cues.

MR SHEN:

a businessman investor; stage age 40s.
Asian accent. Actor playing this role will be of Asian ethnicity. From China, Mr. Shen’s in the final stages of choosing a European city in which to build his new train plant, thereby boosting employment and the economy. David argues that his constituency is the ideal place: a prime location with excellent transport links and, most importantly, a willing workforce. Securing this multi-million-pound deal would also secure the area’s future. 23 cues.


DATES AND TIMES OF PERFORMANCES

Wed 2 (Preview), Thurs 3 and 10, Frid 4 and 11 April 2025 @ 7.30pm.
Matinees Sat 5 and 12 April 2025 @ 2.00pm.

PERFORMANCE VENUE

St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA 5048.


AUDITION DATE/TIME

A group audition will be held on Saturday 8 June 2024, commencing at 11.00am. All auditionees are required to be present at that time. Please arrive 10 minutes earlier.
Note- Prior emailed registration is necessary to audition- see AUDITION CONTACT.

AUDITION VENUE

St Jude’s Church, 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA 5048 (church is adjacent to Grundy Hall, through side gate).

AUDITION CONTACT-REGISTRATION

Please email Director Kym Clayton at kymclayton54@gmail.com to register for the audition. The audition will include reading/moving excerpts from the play, with relevant pages emailed to you several days prior to the audition once you have registered.


REHEARSAL DAYS/TIMES/VENUE.

Tuesdays & Thursdays 7.15-9.30pm, Sundays 1.15pm-5.00pm, although there may be some variation to dates and times.

First rehearsal Sunday 19th January 2025, or thereabouts.
(Please note the rehearsal period will overlap the Fringe Festival/ Festival of Arts).

All rehearsals at St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, BRIGHTON SA 5048

AUGUST 2025 production - AUDITION NOTICE

Registration to audition required.
See details under AUDITION CONTACT-REGISTRATION.

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Revised edition, by Lally Katz.
Australian comedic drama and memory play, Directed by Lesley Reed.


ABOUT THE PLAY

Set in Australia in 2007-2008 and also in the remembered past in war-torn Hungary, Neighbourhood Watch is a poignant, immersive and yet often funny play.

Mary Street is in a typical Australian neighbourhood. Most people are not much more than nodding acquaintances with neighbours. Here lives 80-year-old Hungarian-Australian widow Ana, whose bark is not unlike that of her apparently aggressive dog, Bella. Ana is a deeply war-affected refugee who is often lost in memories of her past life. She is generally perceived by neighbours as a little nosy and pushy. Scenes move from the present to the past and back again in often dreamlike fashion as Ana befriends neighbour Catherine, a young out of work actor who is also haunted by the past. So begins a tender, mutual dependence from which life lessons come for both women. Spiced with humour, neighbours and Bella's bark, this is a beautiful and unforgettable play.


CAST NUMBERS FOR THIS PRODUCTION

4 Females, 4 Males, 1 singer/musician.

Characters: 28, some in a shadowy past.

Stage ages listed: actors older or younger are welcome to try for roles if can perform the stage age required. Most actors for characters named also act as nonverbal people in street, on tram, cinema ticket queue etc. (Ana and Catherine only exceptions).

Accents involved: some actors will play Hungarian characters, with the Martin actor also playing a Russian character in the Hungarian scenes. One female character on Mary Street is Serbian (Jovanka). Accents will not yet be a particular focus, ie at audition. Try your best.


ROLES AVAILABLE

Note: *Some original character names changed by playwright in this revised edition.

FEMALE
CATHERINE-Stage age mid to late 20s.

Major role. Out of work, possibly anorexic actor. Hopes better times are on their way. Shares a house on Mary Street with Ken. Emotionally a little fragile and has an underlying but not overly obvious sadness. Ana befriends her. Actor also to play Young Ana.

JOVANKA (*Formerly Milova)-Stage age late 70s.

Strong role. Serbian neighbour of Ana's on Mary Street. Constantly tries to befriend Ana who is suspicious and dismissive of her. Jovanka is harmless though and clearly lonely. Moves in a laboured way. Much of her characterisation is in her physicality, rather than her words. Actor also to play doctor's receptionist, Nancy and Ana's mother.

MALE
KEN-Stage age late 20s-early 30s.

Excellent role. Catherine's housemate who wants to be more than that to her. Caring and health conscious, especially due to his own diabetes. Worries about Catherine's eating habits. A writer but spends a lot of time in computer games. He is obsessed with World of Warcraft. Actor also to play soldier in infirmary.

MARTIN- Stage age late 20s-late 30s.

Strong role. Catherine's former boyfriend. She can't move on from him. Only later in the play do we discover the truth of why they are no longer together. Actor also to play a Russian soldier and male ambulance officer.

CHEMIST/ARTUR-Stage age mid 20s-possibly 40.

Both strong roles. Chemist is local to Mary Street. Catherine catches his eye.
Artur is Ana's mother's godson from Ana's Hungarian childhood. Dangerous and deceptive man. Actor also to play soldier's father.

INJURED SOLDIER/POLICEMAN-Stage age early 20s.

Soldier is strong, poignant role. Young Ana's first love during the war. Returns to her a tragic figure with shattered legs. Feels Young Ana will not love him now because of his injuries. Policeman is a great role. Runs a Neighbourhood Watch meeting at which Ana is intrusively outspoken. Actor also to play postman and various delivery people.


ROLES ALREADY CAST

ANA-aged 80.

The major role. Ana is a Hungarian refugee living in Australia. She is impacted by her difficult past life in war-torn Hungary as well as childhood trauma that has left her wary of strangers. She is brusque and frank to the point of bluntness yet has a sweet innocence that often makes her very funny and endearing. Her heart, if people meet her halfway, is warm and tender.

KATRINA -middle-aged (*Formerly Christina)

Strong role. Very private, security-conscious neighbour with health issues, who resists Ana's approaches but eventually needs her. This actor also to play woman with dog, Ana's Doctor, Mean girl, woman at cinema, female ambulance officer, Ana's sister.

Gypsy/violinist -Featured during play.

Sings/plays violin.


DATES AND TIMES OF PERFORMANCES

Deleted: Wed 6 (preview), Thurs 7 & 14, Fri 8 & 15, August 7.30 pm, Sat 9 & Sat 16 August, 2pm.

PERFORMANCE VENUE

St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA 5048.


AUDITION DATE/TIME

Saturday, July 6, 2024, with all auditionees at 1.30 pm. Group audition - no individual times.
Note- Prior emailed registration is necessary to audition- see AUDITION CONTACT.

AUDITION VENUE

St Jude's Hall (Grundy Hall), 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA.

AUDITION CONTACT-REGISTRATION

Attendees MUST register before audition day with Director, Lesley Reed by emailing lesleystage@hotmail.com
Please also include mobile details as well as which role(s) auditioning for.
After registration, audition material for moved readings will be provided. No need to memorise.


REHEARSAL DAYS/TIMES/VENUE.

Tuesday & Thursday evenings & Sunday afternoons, beginning either mid-May or early June 2025.
Rehearsal times TBC.

All rehearsals at St Jude’s Grundy Hall, 444 Brighton Road, BRIGHTON SA 5048

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