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AUDITIONS: ‘Shadowlands’

by William Nicholson.


 Familiarisation evening:

Wednesday 24th October 2018, 7.30pm – Gwen Watford, Stables Theatre


Sunday 4th November, 3.00pm – Stables Theatre

Playing dates:

Friday 3rd – Saturday 11th May 2019

Director: Jenny Lloyd-Lyons


A little about me – relatively new to The Stables (I recently trod the boards as Dorothy in “A Bunch of Amateurs”) but not new to directing (mainly at Lewes, a range of plays including “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “The Sunshine Boys”) and am delighted to be directing this beautifully written and powerful play: “Shadowlands”.

Shadowlands follows the true story of C S Lewis, at a time in his late 50’s when he is riding high on the success of his series of “Narnia” children’s books, and how he meets and falls in love with an American, Joy Gresham.  A clash of cultures occurs, his safe all male academic existence, and her straight-talking dry humour, which plays out in intellectual banter, mutual respect and deepening affection, but his belief that one should endure suffering with patience is tested when she is diagnosed with cancer.  Trust me, it has some funny moments too!

It was first shown as a television film in 1985 and was later adapted for the stage in 1989 (starring Nigel Hawthorne and Jane Lapotaire), then premiering on Broadway in 1990 when it was nominated for the Tony Award Best Play. It was released in 1993 as a feature film starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger.



Lewis (play follows his life from his late 50’s to early 60’s)

On stage for the entire play – challenging part and great opportunity to demonstrate a range of emotions, albeit sometimes hidden.

Warnie (3 years older than Lewis)

Fond of his drink, he is kind and supportive.  Also a substantial part.

Professor Christopher Riley (no specific age mentioned)
Enjoys being intellectually antagonistic and openly dislikes Joy – perhaps threatened by the fact that a woman could be so able!
Rev. “Harry” Harrington (no specific age mentioned)
The voice of reason, stands up for his principles about not conducting the wedding ceremony because Joy was married before.
Alan Gregg (referred to as “young” for a don)

Small speaking part. Enthusiasm of youth, stands up to Riley.

Douglas (playing age of 8 years old)

Lovely part with several entrances and lines, required to show range of emotion. (American accent).

Dr Maurice Oakley, Waiter, Priest, Registrar’s Clerk Small speaking parts – can be doubled up.


Joy Gresham (play follows her life from age 41 – 45)

Confident and stands up for her beliefs, has no problem challenging Riley on first meeting, shows humour at times of adversity. (American accent).

Registrar, Nurse, Waitress Small speaking parts – can be doubled up.

Audition pieces:

Characters Page numbers Lines (from/to)
Lewis, Joy btm of 23 – btm of 24 Joy – remember me Jack?/Joy – …Present, and tense.
36 – 37 Lewis – It’s me again./Joy – OK. Just this once.
46 – 47 Lewis – I never did much like hotel rooms./Lewis – Yes.
Riley, Joy, Lewis 17 – 18 Joy – Merry Christmas/Joy – …or merely stupid.
Warnie and Lewis 4 – 5 Warnie – ‘Twas a morning in November/Warnie – Good dinner. Always is.
Riley, Gregg, Lewis, Harrington,


Riley – I said to the lady on my left…./Gregg – I must be off too.
Douglas, Lewis 9 Lewis – Very good/Lewis – No. I’m afraid not.
29 Lewis – So how do you like it here?/Douglas – But I love Mom the best.
52 Lewis – When I was your age…/Lewis – Me too.


Anyone interested in the smaller/non-speaking parts please let me know.

Wednesday 24th October, 7.30pm – Gwen Watford Room, Stables

I will be holding a “familiarisation” evening which is open to anyone who would be interested to read a bit of the play, meet me, or find out more before the audition on 4th November.  I’m happy to answer any queries meanwhile, you can text, email, or call me:

07864 565153

Rehearsals will start approximately mid February 2019.

Look forward to seeing you on 24th October and 4th November for what promises to be the start of a rewarding and memorable production!

Scripts will be available to hire from the Box Office.


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