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Auditions: The Black Comedy the Ladykillers


Sun 28 Aug 2016, 1:00pm–5:00pm

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

Restrictions: R18

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

The Ladykillers by Graham Linehan
Directed by Laurie Mills

Email the director for a copy of the script or an audition time: or call 021 791 199.

Rehearsals start Sunday, 18 Sept
Sundays: 7 pm - 9:30 pm, Tuesdays & Thursdays 7:30 pm - 10 pm.

Season: 12 Nov - 3 Dec

The Ladykillers is a madcap comedy caper brimming with crazy characters, based on the classic 1955 Ealing movie. This stage adaptation won rave reviews when it opened in London in 2011, and HLT will be the first community theatre to stage the play in NZ.

Set in a ramshackle house in London’s King’s Cross in November 1956. We follow a band of criminals led by the self-proclaimed mastermind Professor Marcus whose ‘brilliant’ plan is to rob a train. To execute his plot, he needs a safe house to hide his gang; enter Mrs Wilberforce, an eccentric old widow who wants to rent out her spare room.

English accents required, except for Louis.

Constable Macdonald: (40-70) The archetype '50s London policeman. He unwittingly helps out at the heist. He has a tolerant and touching, albeit professional, relationship with Mrs Wilberforce. The role is more than a support one, with three excellent scenes.

Louisa Wilberforce: (60-80) One of the finest character roles to come out of the British Ealing comedies of the early 1950s. Mrs Wilberforce seems lonely and slightly eccentric; but we are later witness to her quiet grit. The actress needs to find this curious mix of sweetness and iron resolve, of dottiness and morality.

Professor Marcus: (40-60) He has a creepy but not wholly dislikeable charm and for the most part he exercises a degree of authority over the gang. A challenging role, the actor must convince us of both Marcus’ dangerously-mad genius and his later delusion.

Major Courtney: (50-70) A nervous wreck of a man with a slight penchant for feminine attire (but there is no cross-dressing!) He’s been a successful con-man in the past, which merits his inclusion in the gang, but his courage escapes him in the end. The actor needs to access this confused melancholic character.

Harry Robinson: (20-30) He’s light-fingered, and often light-headed, the epitome of the Cockney wide-boy, the spiv. But we do have to love him.

One-round: (20-40) The “heavy” of the gang, who may have brought strength to the enterprise were it not for his spectacular dimness. However, he is touchingly affable and endearing. Although the character is described as “huge” in the script, he is an ex-boxer, not a wrestler, so the actor should channel the physicality of the character, not necessarily the size. One-Round “enjoys” one of the best death scenes in recent scripted comedy.

Louis Harvey: (30-50) Louis’ age is indeterminate, as is his East European origin. He’s certainly the odd one out, with his Romanian temperament and word-mangling never far from the surface. Later on we observe something of the psychopath in him – just enough to feel threatening but still within the confines of farcical comedy.

Jane Tromleyton: (60-80) Mrs Wilberforce’s friend, who, along with other similarly aged ladies, is greatly entertained by what she is led to believe is a musical quartet of the most avant-garde variety. This is a small but delightful cameo role in the middle of the play. The actress would be required for a minimum of one hour per performance and limited rehearsal commitment.

Mrs Wilberforce’s Guests: (60-80) at the musical soiree is a bevy of similarly-aged ladies who are greatly taken with Mrs Wilberforce’s male “guests”. This will be a great opportunity for mature ladies to have some fun onstage. You will be required for about one hour of each performance (and a restricted amount of rehearsal.) You will not be required to audition; just indicate your interest by e-mail or phone call to the Director, with a little of your theatre background.

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