Sewell Barn Theatre, Constitution Hill, Norwich NR3 4BB               Box office: 01603 626414                   Sewell Barn Trust: Registered Charity No 277724

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Handbagged

BY Moira Buffini


Director: Clare Williamson

Contact details: cwilliamson197@gmail.com; 07742156686

Performance dates:  11 - 13, 17 – 20 October(including a matinee on 20 October) 2018


THE PLAY

What went on in the private, weekly meetings between two of the most iconic figures in recent British history?  The Queen and Margaret Thatcher came from very different backgrounds but were similar in age. This play imagines the women’s often frostily well-mannered, polite behaviour as they jockey for position whilst discussing the key events of the day.

It’s a buoyant, opinionated history lesson covering the eleven years of Thatcher’s premiership, aided and enhanced by a succession of satirical cameos of the great and the good (as well as the occasional footman) all portrayed by two male actors. But there are also moments of almost unbearable pathos  as the Queen hears of the murder of Lord Mountbatten, and Mrs Thatcher describes the Grand Hotel bombing.

The play is highly stylised -  there are always two Queens and two Thatchers on stage and the resulting comic contradiction of statements and events by the older, more knowing, versions of the women along with interventions by Actors 1 & 2, both in and out of role, add perspective and food for thought as well as humour. Even the interval is a bone of contention: typically, the Queen wants a break, but the PM is determined to press on.

CASTING:  4F 2M

T – an older Margaret Thatcher playing age 60+

Q – an older Queen Elizabeth 11 playing age 60+

Mags – a younger Margaret Thatcher playing age 40+

Liz – a younger Queen Elizabeth 11 - playing age 40+

Please note, I am not interested in “lookalikes” – wigs, costume, body language and handbags will all be used to create an impression of the characters. Work on voice will be integrated into rehearsals.

Actor 1 – addresses audience and interacts with Actor 2 as himself but also plays a range of roles including Michael Shea, Press Secretary, Kenneth Kaunda, Nancy Reagan and Neil Kinnock.

Actor 2 - addresses audience and interacts with Actor 1 as himself but also plays a range of roles including Denis Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and Prince Philip.

Please note, there is no fixed playing age for Actors 1 & 2


REHEARSAL DETAILS

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. There will be a few Sundays to accommodate full runs/tech rehearsals etc. Rehearsals will begin week of Tues 28 August. There will be a read through shortly after casting.


AUDITION DETAILS

Tuesday 5 June 7.30pm in the Barn

Audition pieces will be provided upon arrival on the night of the audition. There is no necessity to prepare anything in advance. However, all auditionees are encouraged to read the play:

Faber and Faber: ISBN 987-0-571-31250-4 Please ensure you get the full length version and NOT the one act version.

If you are unable to make the audition date, please contact me as soon as possible to make another arrangement.