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AUDITION: The Weir by Conor McPherson

The Weir by Conor McPherson
“A spellbinder that transfixes you…. No praise in fact is too high….The Weir offers the most exciting evening in London theatre” – the Guardian
Director – Andrew Bruce
Familiarisation and play reading evening – Tuesday 19th March at 7.30pm
Auditions – Sunday 24th March at 3pm. Scripts available at Stables Box Office
Performance dates – Friday 20th – Saturday 28th September (except Mon 23rd)
The play and playwright: Conor McPherson was just 26 when he wrote The Weir, which opened to great critical acclaim at the Royal Court Theatre in 1997. It won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play in 1999, before transferring to the West End and Broadway for very successful runs. Twenty years on, McPherson has recently received similarly enthusiastic plaudits for Girl from the North Country at the Old Vic, using Bob Dylan’s iconic songs as a corner stone to the narrative.
The plot of the Weir is simple; in a pub in a remote part of Southern Ireland, four local residents and a newcomer from Dublin swap stories steeped in Irish folklore and mysterious happenings, as they relax and socialise with lots of chat, gossip and a fair amount of alcohol to lubricate their conversation. The young woman from Dublin listens attentively and then turns the table on her companions, with a ‘shocking’ and very real story of her own….!
What lifts The Weir out of any sense of ordinariness and makes it so special is the quality of McPherson’s poetic writing, and the superb sense of Irish culture and location, as the individual storytelling unfolds and the audience is captivated by the intense atmosphere that transcends the pub as a sense of mystery and the unknown takes over the conversations.
My Production:  We will be placing a strong emphasis on creating an authentic sense of location and feeling that we really are located in rural Southern Ireland, within the real confines of the pub and its occupants. In addition, the importance of good storytelling with both skill and conviction, will be a key ingredient, so that our audience is completely engaged in the evening’s events.
The need for convincing Irish accents from the same area, probably Sligo or Leitrim, combined with a separate Dublin accent, will be essential. Therefore, whilst I am not specifically seeking Irish actors, they would be particularly welcome to audition, alongside any other actors who believe they can achieve a consistent and convincing Irish accent throughout the play.
The cast: The Weir has 5 characters, (4 M and 1 F), who are on stage most of the time.
Jack (mid 50’s) a mechanic and garage owner. Working man, great talker, enjoys the drink but not to ruination; can be a bit sharp in his observations leading to misunderstandings, quite lonely.
Brendan (30’s) owner and bartender of the pub in which the play is set.  Quiet, good listener and mild mannered but has some sensitivities that can make him snappy – he hates smut and innuendo. Also lonely.
Jim (40’s) Jack’s assistant, middle aged sweet tempered and quiet working man, a good sort who enjoys gambling carefully, and likes a drink. Stoically looks after his very elderly mother; can tell a good yarn but is also lonely.
Finbar (late 40’s) a local businessman and successful entrepreneur. Married and a bit boastful, loves to tease his companions. May have designs on Valerie but all in all, he is a good guy with one foot still in the world of his childhood.
Valerie (30’s) from Dublin, recently moved to the area with her husband. Would like to make new friends, has pleasant and nice manner with no airs and graces. Something mysterious and puzzling about her, a hidden devastating sorrow under the surface which she reveals, and which changes the whole mood in the pub.
Auditions: will be completely open and inclusive of actors of all backgrounds, as long as you are able to meet the essential criteria described above for each of the characters. The auditions will include demonstration of your story telling skills, using either the specific tales for the characters in the play, or a different story that you have prepared to present on the day. Please think carefully about the character(s) whose story you would like to tell, and the voice/accent to use.
Familiarisation evening: this will be an excellent opportunity to find out more about The Weir and my ideas for the production, including the set design and music. I would also like us to read some of the play together, and encourage as many interested actors as possible to audition!
Contact: If you have any questions about The Weir auditions, please email me directly on: or text me on 07833 451666
Thanks and I hope to see you there!
Andrew Bruce – Director

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