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Backstage – Auditions for The Premiere of Hit UK Comedy


Sun 21 Aug 2011, 11:00am–2:00pm

Where: Howick Little Theatre, 1 Sir Lloyd Drive, Pakuranga, Auckland

Restrictions: R15

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


A comedy by Roy Smiles/UK/2009
Directed by Terry Hooper.
Mail to:

Auditions: Sunday, 21st August 11am, at Howick Little Theatre

Season: November 12-December 3, 8pm. Matinees: Nov 13 & 20, 6pm

Set in 1939, Backstage follows the antics of the Leibmans, a husband-and-wife vaudeville act, who have been touring the US for 20 years with their son Danny and daughter Ruth. They are aided by Maria, who serves as dresser, confidante and peacemaker. However, Hanna and Herb’s marriage is rapidly disintegrating as a result of Herb’s philandering and Hanna’s egomania. Family tensions erupt in a fast-paced, furiously funny behind-the-scenes comedy. It’s a veritable can of kerosene just waiting for that vital spark to set things off. 
This will be the Auckland premiere.

The characters
Hanna Leibman (40 to 50): A New York Jewish comedienne. With a brash manner reminiscent of Joan Rivers. She rules the roost and makes sure everyone knows it.

Herb Leibman (40 to 50): The straight man in the act, also New York Jewish. Herb is a philanderer with dreams of getting away from his domineering wife and making a career in Hollywood.

Marie Vincenti (50-60): The Liebmans' dresser and general assistant as well as being a surrogate mother to the kids; she is the glue that holds the family and act together.

Danny Leibman (20): An idealistic young man who wishes to run away and join the impending war. A real mummy's boy who is the company manager of the act.

Ruth Liebman (18): A singer with the act, who is said to sing like a drain and is slowly working her way through all the men in the orchestra pit.

Betty Hupple (20 to 25): A chorus girl, and the object of Herb’s affections (must have the look and stature of a chorus girl).

This play is fast-talking and fast-moving, so the characters need lots of energy and perfect comic timing. A good New York accent is a must.

Howick Little Theatre does not precast its productions.
Perusal scripts and audition pieces are available from the HLT office. Phone Kathy on 534-1406 for a copy. Please return perusal scripts promptly.
Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays & Thursdays at 7.30pm and on Sundays at 2pm.

The director:
Terry Hooper starred in and directed Mammals for HLT in 2010. He was also the director of Sexy Laundry, which was so successful it sold out with eight performances to go. He started acting at an early age, doing a two-year performing arts course in Sheffield, England. While there he formed the Minus One Theatre Company and was awarded best actor and best new company at the SADTA one-act play festival. He then went on to train at the Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London where he gained a BA Honours in Theatre. His theatre credits include: The Zoo Story, Serious Money, The Plough and the Stars, that Scottish play, and Royal Hunt for the Sun. He also toured Germany as Frank in Educating Rita. Terry took a break from theatre to concentrate on a career in floristry, then emigrated a couple of years ago.

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