‘Diary of a Nobody’
by George and Weedon Grossmith. Adapted for the stage by Hugh Osborne.
Playing Dates: 4th-12th May 2018
Auditions: Stables Theatre, Hastings, 26 November 2017, 6pm.
Director: Rob Hustwayte
Diary of a Nobody ranks among the finest of English comic novels, and was described by no less than Evelyn Waugh as “the funniest book in the world.”
It records the daily lives of lower-middle-class Victorian bank clerk Charles Pooter, his wife Carrie, his son Lupin, and numerous friends and acquaintances. Set in a London suburb, it describes in painfully hilarious detail the simplicities and humiliations, trials and tribulations of 15 months in the life of the mundane, upright Pooter.
In this well-received stage adaptation by Hugh Osborne, the diaries are presented by Pooter as a series of “dramatic representations.” He is joined by a cast of three who between them play all the characters described in the diaries – very much in the fast-paced, quick-change style of other literary stage adaptions such as The 39 Steps, Three Men in a Boat, The Hound of the Baskervilles and Jeeves and Wooster.
I am looking for four very strong actors to bring this fabulous play to its full potential. While Pooter is the central character, this is essentially a show with four leads. As well as outstanding talent, versatility, timing and stage presence, all cast members will need to be good team players and willing to contribute ideas and suggestions. This show will be physically and mentally demanding yet hugely rewarding and lots of fun. There is rudimentary singing and dancing involved but we are not expecting Sarah Brightmans or Fred Astaires.
It’s essential that the actors resist the temptation to “send up” the play. Pooter and all the characters around him should be played as truthfully as possible in order to achieve maximum comic potential. While Pooter is self-evidently a man of a certain age, I am more open minded about the gender and ages of Darwitts, Birks-Spooner and Hillbutter, and would welcome anyone who thinks they have the talent to fit the bill.
Male, playing age approx. 45-55.
Quite simply one of English literature’s greatest comic characters and perhaps the blueprint for the likes of Captain Mainwaring, Basil Fawlty, Victor Meldrew and David Brent. Gauche, straight-laced, formal, bumptious and snobbish – Pooter is completely unaware of his own absurdity and they way he is perceived by others, yet he is also sympathetic and likeable. This character spawned the adjective “Pooterish” – self-important and mundane or arrow-minded. A terrific opportunity for the right actor.
Plays: Carrie (Pooter’s wife); Cummings (Pooter’s friend); Farmerson (the
ironmonger); Carrie’s mother; Lillie Girl and others.
Plays: Sarah (the Pooters’ maid) for half the play; Gowing (Pooter’s
friend); the Waiter, Second Helpful Man, Lupin (The Pooters’ son); Daisy Mutlar (Lupin’s
sweetheart) and others.
Plays: Horwin; Pitt, Trillip; Mrs James of Sutton; the Old Friend; First
Helpful Man; Frank Mutlar; Sarah (for half the play); Murray Posh and others.
This is a guide. Please let me know on the day if there any other pieces you want to perform:
P 10-15 – Pooter, Gowing/Sarah, Cummings/Farmerson/Carrie, Horwin
P 29-31 – Sarah (Birks-Spooner), Carrie, Pooter, Mrs James
P 41-42 – Pooter, Hilbutter/Pitt, Cummings
P 49 (from Lupin’s entrance) -52 – Pooter, Carrie, Lupin, Hillbutter (as Sarah)
P 86-88 – Carrie, Mrs James, Pooter, Gowing
P 76-77 – Pooter, Cummings, Lupin
P 115 – Pooter speech
P 43 (from Hilbutter entrance)-46 – Pooter, Hilbutter, Gowing, Carrie/Cummings
This is an open audition and I look forward to seeing as many talented performers as possible.
I anticipate starting rehearsals in earnest in February – probably three per week – with perhaps a couple of readings and familiarisations in January.
Best wishes and good luck.