MEN OF THE WORLD by John Godber
Audition Date: Monday 22 October 2018 at 7.30pm at Oakes Mills West
Rehearsals start: mid-December 2018
Play runs: 12-16 February 2019
Preparing for a mystery trip to Scarborough three northern coach drivers pass the time remembering more exciting trips from the past, such as the one down the Rhine Valley. Stick hates his passengers and wishes he was doing the Spanish run, Larry is a seasoned traveller and Mario Lanza fan and Frank is their female counterpart. These three actors take turns playing an assortment of passengers, from the dotty old complainers to the retired miners seeking excitement on too little money. A touching, often hilarious, bitter-sweet play.
John Godber turns his attention to the wonderfully whacky world of coach trips seen through the eyes of three coach drivers, ex-sailor Frank, ex-SAS and avid Mario Lanza fan Larry and the jaundiced Stick.
We join them on a three-coach convoy of mainly pensioners to Heidelberg and an amateur performance of The Student Prince in the town’s castle.
Larry has a gentle empathy with his charges, he likes them, gets to know them, gives them both dignity and nicknames from his world of entertainment. He suffered deep vein thrombosis before it was fashionable, which kept him off work for a year and scuppered his chances of being head-hunted by other coach companies. He is looking to retire after this trip – the problem is he doesn’t have much else in his life.
Frank is a down to earth woman who keeps the peace in the trio. She did a stint in the Royal Navy, on training course after training course, leaving “qualified in nowt” hence her new career as coach driver.
Stick, hates pensioners, and it seems everyone and everything else. He also hates singing on his coach, is not too keen on motorway services and thinks people should be shot then they reach their seventies! His envy and admiration of fellow driver Johnny Mac is palpable.
Godber takes the micky out of the elderly but it is gentle and almost affectionate, with all the seizing up or legs swelling if they sit too long, the talk of ailments and bodily functions, distrust of foreign food etc. However, there is also a devoted husband looking after his ailing wife, a sudden death and a widower who feels he has nothing in life.
This collection of vignettes is both very funny and at times sad, with moments of real drama, such as when Frank must act as peacemaker between a warring Larry and Stick as frustrations and differences explode.
The cast must regularly jump between drivers and passengers in a flurry of costume to maintain the necessary fast pace of the play. In addition, every characterisation must be clearly defined. It is a demanding play physically, emotionally and in levels of concentration.
All actors would be required at every rehearsal, so only a limited absence could be permitted during the rehearsal period, and none in the last two weeks of rehearsals (weeks commencing 28 January & 4 February)
The main roles are:
Larry – male 50+
Frank – female 40+
Stick – male 35+
HOWEVER, ALL THREE PLAY THE FOLLOWING MULTIPLE ROLES (BOTH MALE & FEMALE) these are:
Sissy (aged 79); Doris (80); Jean (79);
Wally (68); Len (70); Brian (67);
Harry (72); Dot (72);
Martin (middle aged); May (63);
Mollie (60s); Connie (60s);
Raymond (40s); Clive (40s) & Dolly (50s)
as well as their driver character!
If you wish to audition please email firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 12noon on Monday 22 October. Stating the part(s) you are interested in.