Audition for Look Back in Anger: a dark, gritty 50s drama

Audition date & location:

Sunday 2 February 2020

7 – 9.30 pm

Free Church Hall, Northway, Hampstead Garden Suburb

London, NW11 6PB

GST invites you to audition for our next production: John Osborne’s post-war classic Look Back in Anger. 

Directed by Michael Reffold (Assistant Director for Garden Suburb Theatre’s acclaimed open-air production of Our Country’s Good in July 2019), Look Back in Anger explores the breakdown of a marriage between original “angry young man” Jimmy Porter and his wife Alison, who Jimmy resents for being of a higher social class than him. Their relatively stable life in a small, dingy apartment with Jimmy’s friend Cliff is disrupted by the arrival of Helena, a long-time friend of Alison’s, who seems to have her own agenda and turns their existence on its head. 

With a number of intense stand-offs, characters with depth, and a host of psychological avenues to explore, this dark 50s drama is sure to be explosive. 

Please note that this play contains adult themes, including domestic abuse, which will be explored in a sensitive manner but may not be suitable for everyone. 

Look Back in Anger will be GST’s entry into the Barnet & District Drama Festival Awards (the Barnies) for 2020.

Performance week: 22 – 25 April 2020 (all evening performances, no matinees)

Venue: King Alfred Phoenix Theatre,

Ivy Wood, North End Road London NW11 7HY

We will be rehearsing Tuesday and Thursday evenings (7.30 – 9.30 pm) and Sunday evenings (7 – 9.30 pm) from 23rd February 2020.

If you have any questions about the show or this audition notice, please feel free to contact us on lookbackinanger@gardensuburbtheatre.org.uk 

Alternative audition date

If you are not available on February 2nd and still wish to audition, please contact lookbackinanger@gardensuburbtheatre.org.uk to discuss the possibility of an alternative, mutually agreeable time/date to audition.

Script

We will be using the Faber edition of the script, available to buy from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Look-Back-Anger-John-Osborne/dp/0571038484 

Characters

As a general note, all characters except Colonel Redfern are open to any auditionee with a playing age between 25 and 35. We are much more interested in seeing what you bring to the role than your real-life age! 

Jimmy and Cliff should be noticeably less posh than Alison, Helena and Colonel Redfern, but other than that there is lots of opportunity here to put your stamp on the characters and bring them to life in whatever way you choose.

Jimmy Porter (male, playing age 25-35):

The original ‘angry young man’, Jimmy certainly has a chip on his shoulder and isn’t afraid to let the world know his opinions on a whole range of topics. A master at using words to get his point across and hurt those around him, Jimmy is resentful of his place in society as a working class man after the Second World War and of Alison, his wife. Jimmy has lots of fairly long angry monologues during the course of the play, so we’re looking for an actor with strong stage presence and charisma. A large role.

Alison Porter, née Redfern (female, playing age 25-35):

A seemingly meek and mild woman with hidden depths that come to the surface during the play. Alison is often difficult to read and tends to put on a mask or facade, especially when Jimmy is directing his rage at her. There are plenty of sides to Alison for an actor to explore and she has a key part to play in the action that unfolds. A large role. 

Cliff Lewis (male, playing age 25-35):

Jimmy and Alison’s lodger, and a long-time friend of Jimmy’s, Cliff is a very likeable and friendly character whose main interest is in keeping the peace and having a comfortable life. Full of jokes to ease the tension, what is Cliff hiding behind his humour? Originally Welsh but we’re happy to consider any take on this intriguing character. A supporting role but one with plenty of stage time. 

Helena Charles (female, playing age 25-35):

Alison’s friend, a fairly posh actress, whose unexpected visit midway through the play disrupts the status quo. A bit of a snob, Helena riles up Jimmy but seems to have her own agenda when it comes to the play’s central couple. A supporting role but one with plenty of stage time. 

Colonel Redfern (male, playing age 55-70):

Alison’s father, an ex-military man struggling to find his place in the world now that the war is over. He is a kind and gentle soul who doesn’t let his disapproval of Jimmy and Alison’s relationship get in the way of his love for his daughter. A smaller role with less stage time.

Audition Pieces

  1. Jimmy, Alison, Cliff. Pages 2 – 5. “Why do I do this every Sunday?” to “Put the kettle on.”
  2. Jimmy monologue. Pages 10 – 11. “Nobody thinks, nobody cares.” to “That’s a thought isn’t it?”
  3. Alison, Cliff. Pages 22 – 24. “Come and sit down.” to “I suppose not.”
  4. Jimmy, Alison. Pages 30 – 33. “How’s it feeling?” to “You know I told you I’d something to tell you?”
  5. Alison, Helena. Pages 37 – 40. “Did you manage all right?” to “I can’t believe that he’s right somehow.”
  6. Colonel, Alison. Pages 68 – 70. “It wasn’t your fault.” to “Only some men and women.”
  7. Jimmy, Helena, Cliff. Pages 81 – 83. “I think you’re actually acquiring yourself a curiosity…” to “Yes, change the record old boy, or pipe down.”