Auditions for The Titfield Thunderbolt & Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Calling actors! We’re auditioning for the third and fourth plays of our 103rd Season!

The Titfield Thunderbolt

Poster for The Titfield Thunderbolt, showing a steam train rolling through a village centre

The branch line between Mallingford and Titfield is losing money and British Rail is intent on closing it down. In desperation the villagers exploit the 1947 Transport Act and decide to take charge and run it themselves – with a train resurrected from a local museum! As well as convincing the railway authorities that they are competent to work the line, they have to face problems from Vernon Crump who is set on providing a competitive bus service. All aboard for a rollicking evening of hilarious nostalgia!

This adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy is enjoyably chaotic, funny and touching in its depiction of ordinary people’s heroic fight against the interfering bureaucratic powers that be.

This ensemble piece requires at least five actors of either gender.

The auditions will take place from 7.30pm on Monday 19 December at “Narnia” and will be a cold read audition. If an unsighted read presents a difficulty to you, then please advise of this before the audition and material will be provided beforehand.

The performance dates for this production are 15-18 March 2023 at Longwood Mechanics Hall.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

George, a professor at a small college, and his wife, Martha, have just returned home, drunk from a Saturday night party. Martha announces, amidst general profanity, that she has invited a young couple—an opportunistic new professor at the college and his shatteringly naïve new bride—to stop by for a nightcap. When they arrive, the charade begins.

The drinks flow and suddenly inhibitions melt. It becomes clear that Martha is determined to seduce the young professor, and George couldn’t care less. But underneath the edgy banter, which is fired between both couples, lurks an undercurrent of tragedy and despair. George and Martha’s inhuman bitterness toward one another is provoked by the enormous personal sadness that they have pledged to keep to themselves: a secret that has seemingly been the foundation for their relationship.

In the end, the mystery in which the distressed George and Martha have taken refuge is exposed, once and for all revealing the degrading mess they have made of their lives.

This classic by Edward Albee requires 4 actors, 2 male and 2 female, who can perform huge dialogue in an authentic American accent.

The parts are:

Martha: the daughter of the president of the college where George and Nick are professors. She is middle-aged, large and boisterous, and is married to George in an intense and acrimonious relationship. She admits to a history of infidelity and flirts with Nick throughout the play, ultimately seducing him into kissing her, and perhaps more. Her constant nagging of George about his lack of ambition suggests that she may be insecure about her own professional situation.

George: an associate professor in the History Department at the college. He is in his late 40s. Martha describes George’s career as a failure, and purports to have married him because her father had once seen George as a protégé and potential future president of the college. According to Martha, her father changed his mind about George’s future after witnessing his weakness and impotence. At times throughout the play, George exhibits his professor-like erudition, as when he speaks in Latin and elegantly defends the study of History, but each time, Martha dismisses him as pretentious.

Nick: a new professor at the college, in the biology department. Only in his late twenties, he is already highly accomplished—he earned his Master’s degree at the age of nineteen, and was a boxing champion in college. Young and ambitious, he provides a contrast to George, who is old and apparently unambitious. After a couple of drinks, however, Nick reveals that his life isn’t all it seems.

Honey: Nick’s wife, a couple of years his junior, and is described as petite and plain. She is clearly not very intelligent, and becomes drunk very quickly, retiring to lie on the bathroom floor and peel labels off alcohol bottles. It is evident that Nick, handsome and intelligent, feels he deserves better. Honey is clearly the weakest personality of the four.

Auditions for this will take place on Tuesday 3 January at 7.30pm at “Narnia.” The production dates for this play are 10-13 May 2023 at the LBT.