Chester Little Theatre is taking on the challenge of mounting one of Alan Ayckbourn’s funniest and most surprising plays, Improbable Fiction, and they are looking for actors to take part in it. Performance dates are Saturday 13 to Saturday 20 January 2018. A reading of the play will be held at the Little Theatre on Tuesday 3 October, with open auditions on Thursday 5 October at 7.30 pm. See below for character outlines. (Pictures from Little Theatre’s production of Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaking.)
First performed in 2005 at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, Ayckbourn’s home town, the play starts as an amusing and perceptive observation of a creative writing group (perhaps based on Ayckbourn’s personal experience?) discussing their success or otherwise in their different genres, but by the end of Act I, it explodes into something quite other!
The director, Jane Barth, says: “This is certainly a challenge, a truly ensemble play requiring energy and commitment from everyone involved. Act II particularly demands sharp timing. It’s set in different periods, with different accents and costumes, so entrances and exits will need to be precisely on cue. Arnold, the host of the writing group, is always Arnold, though he is treated as various characters. Then, with six people playing 26 roles – all believable characters – the word to think of for the actors in this play is “versatile”. We are also looking for reliable back stage support: the stage management and technical crew will have a challenging but exciting job to do!
“Coming soon after Christmas, it’s definitely in the “pantomime season” and although it’s not a pantomime but a sophisticated play which keeps the audience on their toes, the effects should be as stimulating as a panto: an exciting production which will give a rewarding challenge to the company, and a very entertaining evening to our audiences.”
Below is an outline of the characters and of each of the “authors” and their writing genres. Ages are given as a guide rather than a requirement. Each actor, except for the one playing Arnold, will play at least three characters.
Arnold Chair and host of creative writing group; shop assistant, also writer of instruction manuals. 50s or so
Jess (f) Farmer or small holder; writes historical romance. 40-50s
Grace Housewife; children’s fiction. 40-50s
Vivvi (f) Journalist; crime fiction. 30-40s
Clem Council worker; science fiction (or “science fact”, as he calls it). 30s-40s
Brevis Retired schoolteacher; writes musical adaptations – presently doing Pilgrim’s Progress. Some piano skills an advantage. 60s
Ilsa Shop assistant; come to help with Arnold’s mother and make coffee. 18 to early 20s.
For more information, go to email@example.com or telephone 01928 724808