Audition – Muswell Hill

The play is set in Jess and Mat’s swish Muswell Hill kitchen in January 2010, before, during and after a dinner party. They have invited her friend Karen, a widow, and his friend Simon, together with Jess’ recovering alcoholic, much younger, sister, Annie, to a dinner of avocado and prawns and monkfish stew. 

A number of catastrophic events occur. 

The minor one is an earthquake in Haiti which leaves one hundred thousand people dead. 

The major ones involve: Mat, a struggling writer, Jess, his high flying accountant wife, and their oddball guests. Before the guests arrive, Mat casually drops into the conversation that he knows Jess is having an affair. The next bombshell is that neurotic Karen has gone vegetarian and no longer eats fish! It soon becomes apparent that any plans to pair off awkward, idealistic dreamers Simon and Karen are unlikely to succeed. A cocaine-fuelled Annie arrives and announces that she has invited a friend, a theatre director, Tony. She reveals that Tony, who she met at a recovery meeting, and she are to be married. When Tony arrives he turns out to be considerably older than Annie. 

Throughout the evening all the protagonists are heavily engaged in texting, emailing and using their mobiles. There are even occasional passing references to the disaster in Haiti! As the consumption of alcohol increases, embarrassment, shifting alliances and arguments (some heated) ensue.