Open Audition Notice – The Merchant of Venice, 10th March

This summer the GST will be building on the success of previous years, and running two shows in Rep over the summer period in our beautiful Little Wood Open Air Theatre in Hampstead Garden Suburb.

The shows are Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker and The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

Each show will have 9 performances and the season will run between 4th and 20th July 2019.

Each will have its own independent cast and shows will be performed on an alternating timetable over 2 and a half weeks. Both auditions will be run on Sunday 10th March in the Free Church Hall, Northway, London NW11 7BN.

Google Maps location here

Please also note the Hall (where the audition is) is located on Northway. It is not in the square next to the church itself, but is only a few minutes’ walk away. Some satnavs will direct you to the church rather than the Hall.

You are encouraged to audition for both plays to avoid disappointment, and will have the opportunity to state your preference.

Start time for those auditioning for both shows or Our Country’s Good only will be 4pm.

Start time for The Merchant of Venice only will be 7pm.

Please read the full audition notices for each show you wish to audition for.

If you are unable to make the audition for any reason, please let us know via in advance, in case we can accommodate you at another time or date.

Fancy a backstage role? – We are currently recruiting backstage crew to help with lights, sounds, stage management, props and costume. If you are interested please contact us.

Also please note that although the auditions are open to everyone, if cast, you will be expected to join the GST and become a full paid up member prior to the first rehearsal.

Pre-audition read-through/workshop

All potential auditionees, especially those new to acting, are welcome to attend the pre-audition read-through or workshop for each production.

Although this is not compulsory, it will allow you to meet the directors and help you gain familiarity with the play and characters (and reduce the nerves a bit!), which could help your audition. Also it should be a lot of fun!

These will both be held, in a venue near the Hampstead Garden suburb. Please contact us to confirm attendance, and the address will be provided.

The Merchant of Venice (read through of the play)- 7:30pm, Tuesday 12th February. More information here.

Our Country’s Good (workshop/read through) – 7:30pm, Tuesday 26th February.  More information here.

The Merchant Of Venice

Directed by Diana Bromley

Why do we want to put on this play? Why wouldn’t we! It investigates the universal themes of the difference between the spirit and the letter of the Law and whether Mercy takes precedence over Justice. It is bang up to date with its incisive examination of the corrosive effect of anti-semitism and intolerance of diversity on the victim, as well as on the perpetrator.

Why would you want to be in it? Again, why wouldn’t you? The experienced among you will need no persuasion to rise to the challenge of two of the most marvellous roles with two of the most powerful speeches in Shakespeare. But there are parts for actors of all levels of experience to get their teeth into. If you are afraid of performing Shakespeare, or think you don’t understand the language, well yes, you have to work at it, but we will work together and then the joy of rolling those words around your tongue and perhaps enlightening others in the audience with similar doubts.

There will be a pre-audition read through on Tuesday 12th February. This is for fun and to give a taster of the play. It is not necessary to come to this to be considered for a part and by the same token, members who can’ t take part in the production are welcome to attend. Just RSVP so I know how many chairs to borrow. Email:

Cast List

  • The Duke of Venice, no particular age
  • The Prince of Morocco, suitor to Portia, 25 Plus
  • The Prince of Aragon, suitor to Portia, 25 Plus
  • Antonio, the Merchant of Venice, 35 plus
  • Bassanio, friend of Antonio, suitor to Portia, 25 plus
  • Gratiano, friend of Antonio, 25 plus
  • Salario, friend of Antonio usually 25 plus, but can be any age/gender
  • Solanio, friend of Antonio usually 25 plus, but can be any age/gender
  • Lorenzo, in love with Jessica, 25 plus
  • Shylock, a Jewish money lender 40 plus
  • Tubal, a Jew, his friend 40 -80
  • Launcelot Gobbo, servant to Shylock mischievous, 20 – 35
  • Old Gobbo, his father, aged
  • Leonardo, servant to Bassanio, no particular age
  • Balthazar, servant of Portia , no particular age and could be female
  • Stephano, servant of Portia , no particular age and could be female
  • Portia, an heiress of Belmont, say 20 – 25
  • Nerissa, her waiting woman, ideally around the same age as Portia
  • Jessica, daughter of Shylock, say 20 -25

Ages are indicative only. There will be doubling and gender changes as necessary.

Audition Pieces

The Duke of Venice:  Act IV sc i 17 “ Shylock, the World thinks…. 34 We all expect a gentle answer Jew”          

The Prince of Morocco  II vii 13”Some god direct my judgment! …..40 To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint.”

The Prince of Arragon  II iX 18 “ And so have I address’d me……..52 And instantly unlock my fortunes here”.

Antonio and Bassanio I i 135 “ I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know….176 That I should questionless be fortunate”.

Shylock  III I 47 “ To bait fish, withal…66 I will better the instruction.”

Antonio and Shylock  I iii 92 “ Mark you this Basannio….138 This is kind I offer,”

Portia IV I 78 “Then must the Jew be merciful……201 ……..Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant here.”

Portia and Basannio III ii 149 “You see me Lord Basannio where I stand…. 185 O then be bold to say Basannio’s dead.”

Portia and Nerissa I ii 1 “ By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is aweary of this great world…34 these princely suitors that are already come”.

Gratiano IV I 123 “Not on thy sole: but on thy soul( harsh Jew)….138 Are wolvish, bloody, starv’d and ravenous”

Lorenzo and Jessica V I 1 “ The Moon shines bright….24 But hark I hear the footing of a man”

Launcelot Gobbo and Old Gobbo II ii 1 “ Certainly my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew, my master………71 Alack, sir, I am sand blind, I know you not”.

Salerio and Solanio II viii 1”Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail……..34 For it may grieve him”.

Tubal, Leonardo, Balthazar, Stephano and others Will be chosen from those not cast in other parts, but if anyone particularly wants to play one of these roless, please say so on the  form which will be given out at the audition.