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Transcend Festival

Adult roles

How to apply: 

Auditions for adult professional actors, or very experienced and talented others.

Please contact the festival direct for any further info...

This is a superb chance to work wih some top people and in a beautiful venue. 

Helen Niland is holding auditions for an exciting new festival starting in St Giles -in-the-fields in
London called, THE TRANSCEND FESTIVAL for the performing arts, founded by
the coordinator of the new fantastic Bowie exhibit at the V&A.

The play is entitled ' A Kind Bowl' a gritty production which involves some
famous criminals of the 17th century just before they are lead to their
deaths at Tyburn ( Marble Arch ).

Those who came to St. Giles for a last drink before execution find that they
are back again, telling their stories, watched by the sardonic Jonathan
Wild, thief and thief-taker, and the Ordinary of Newgate-the clergyman
appointed to travel with them to Tyburn and whose account of their behaviour
in those last days provides a colourful version of villainy in eighteenth
century London. The characters, who find themselves somehow drawn again to
St Giles, try to make sense of their lives and desires, and above all try to
puzzle out why they have returned.

This performance piece runs at an hour and a half and will play in the very
church where these final dramas were played out. It offers a range of
vigorous characters from the violent and strange criminal world of Georgian
London and will suit actors who can play within a chorus and then burst
strongly into individual life as their character takes central stage, as
each character does at some point in the piece.

I work a lot with KDC, writers from Tower and Sedos theatre and many
independent companies, and I'd like to see some new faces at audition to
give more people an opportunity, and to reach out to other Theatre groups.
This is a charity event all charities are listed on the Transcent website.

Charity details are on the Transcend web site.

Auditions and recalls: are to be held at: The St Brides
Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, City of London, EC4Y 8EQ

Monday 13th May 2013 - 6:45pm - 9pm. Audition room will be the Black Friars
room, please initially meet in the Ludgate room for instruction.

Tuesday 14th May - 6:45pm - 9pm. Audition room will be the Albion room,
please initially meet in the Ludgate room for instruction.

Wednesday 15th May - 6:45pm - 9pm. Audition room will be the Albion room,
please initially meet in the Ludgate room for instruction.

Recall date: Friday 17th May - 6:15pm - 9:45pm. Audition room will be the Fleet room,
please initially meet in the Albion room for instruction.

Rehearsals: One week in May, two evening rehearsals the Monday 20th May - Wednesday 23rd

You’ll then have the week of the 24th May - 2nd June to learn lines, then
books down please.

Rest of rehearsals will be throughout the month of June to finesse.

First read through: Evening of 19th May, time TBC. At The Phoenix Artist Club, 1 Phoenix St,
London WC2H 8BU.

Performances will take place at: The Transcend Festival of Performance Arts, St Giles-in-the-Fields church
Gallery during weekend of 5-7th July 2013, performance starts 8pm each evening ( time and
specific details TBC. )

Fee: A Charity event: No pay, just a wonderful experience


Jonathan Wild: A man who commissioned thefts and later collected the reward when these were
recovered. He is the master criminal of the time and inspired Daniel Defoe
to write his biography.

He is sardonic, cynical, and sharp, but also the character most intrigued by
the reason for the return of the condemned to St. Giles. He acts as the lead character
around whom the action of the piece turns and his speculations provide a large measure
of the piece’s narrative drive. He has a modern sensibility in that he understands that
roles in life can be assumed like masks and that these can create character (and therefore
destiny). Playing age 28 - 58

Jenny Diver: A strong and determined Irish woman who having lost the support of her
husband when he was transported for theft, made the best of what help was available.
She studied pickpocketing and by brilliance became the leader of her own gang,
and was given her name by her admiring colleagues from a character in the Beggars’
Opera. She deliberately made a study of how best to conduct affairs, writing out
rules for her gang (they put aside 10% of their takings against a lean period) and
insisted that all were proficient in their criminal slang to protect themselves from snooping.

Her resourcefulness was evident in her two returns from being transported,
making her way back to London. A sharp intellect, today she would probably be running
her own successful business. Playing age 28 - 57

John Rice: Not content with immense riches, houses and servants, this intelligent man
became greedy for more, and more. He speculated, and gambled, until his debts drove
him to fraud. His deceptions would have netted him many millions (in today’s money) but
fate intervened. Facing death, his courage fails him. He is terrified and
self-justifying but also still fascinated by the value of things and informs the audience
accordingly. Playing age 28 - 58

Roderick Audrey (Male or female): Although a male part could be played by a female; he was hanged at 16.
Roderick was no innocent; he stole and burgled from an early age. His companion in
villainy was his pet sparrow who also provided him with an alibi when caught. He is
impudent and rather proud of himself but also provides an example of how
hope can torment us – he expected to be reprieved and this hope continually wells up
in him, providing an element of vulnerability for the actor to bring out in addition
to the bravado. Playing age 13 - 18

Martha Tracy: A story thought to be typical of the time. A woman with romantic ideas of
the fundamental role that Love plays in life, a woman who loves the sense of
well-being that fine clothes can bring; a woman who is betrayed by her lover and after
having her child taken away, plunges down into the lowest and most brutal level of
prostitution. She stole a guinea and was hanged for it but throughout the
play displays an essential innocence and child-like regard for the highest
emotion which plays against the knowing smiles of Jonathan Wild and Joseph Blake. She was
hanged for the robbery of one guinea, a fact she refers to with bewilderment. She
is the most obvious victim within the piece. Playing age 28 - 58

Jack Sheppard: The swaggering, amused, daring house-breaker who the mob loved especially
for his prowess in getting out of tight spots. His description of his escape from
the condemned cell in Newgate should be amusing and compelling. Jack was
executed when he was 23, and this role is probably best for an actor, who can convey
that youthful energy and carelessness. It is hoped (but may not happen as the
Church is Grade I listed) that Jack makes his appearance climbing down a rope, or rope
ladder from the balcony of the church – this will probably not happen as the Church
is Grade I listed, but gives a sense of the movement and energy the actor
should convey. Jack was a victim of Jonathan Wild and their mutual antipathy should
be played up. Playing age 20 - 25

Joseph Powis: This part will be a challenge. Powis was a strolling player and a very bad
one (be prepared to quote Julius Caesar badly) He was laughed off the stage on
one occasion. His attempts at crime were as incompetent, and frequently his only
booty was some pies. His father-in-law constantly forgave Joseph who was always
running off before returning in rags and tatters. He had a vivid imagination and was
visited by several dreams/visions warning him to give up crime – he did but then
invariably returned. In addition to the comedy, there is a strong element of pathos in
this character whose incompetence did not attract pity from the courts – in his
own letter, he boasts of pleading for mercy to the judge ‘extempore’. It didn’t work.
Playing age 28 - 58

Joseph Blake: Alias ‘Blueskin’. A nasty criminal, an associate of Jack Sheppard’s. He is
brutal and crude.. While in the condemned cell, he attacked Jonathan Wild and cut his
throat. He is coarse and his comments on Martha Tracy and the impending death of all
of them show his complete insensitivity to the feelings or predicament of
others and to his own mortality.. He is probably the character whose brutality shows most
really what a low-life criminal was like at the time and this is an important function of
the role within the piece. Playing age 28 - 58

John Smith: Half-hanged Smith. The one that got away. He was reprieved while hanging. He
is a jaunty rogue, conscious of his interest to others because of what happened.
He was not reformed by his bit of luck and risked hanging again but managed to get out
of trouble. He is amused and teases the audience about his possible reform. His luck,
and failure to mend his ways, appears to contradict notions of Divine Providence and the
deterrent affect of capital punishment and this engages the attention of Jonathan Wild
and the Ordinary. Playing age 28 - 58

The Ordinary of Newgate (Male): The clergyman of Newgate prison who went with the condemned to Tyburn and prayed with them until the end. He visited the condemned in prison to comfort them
and had the rights to publish his accounts of their last days. Through the piece he
finds reasons for the condemned revisiting St Giles which uses them as an example to
others to live well; he stands for the conventional rectitude of the time. However, he is
accused of hypocrisy and in defending himself the conventional mask slips
and he gives an account of the impact all the deaths he has seen has had on him. The
actor playing this part must be be able to play the earlier scenes to suggest the
complexity which later bursts out into view. Playing age 28 - 58

Apart from Roderick Audrey (teenager) and Jack Sheppard (early to mid
twenties) the age of all the characters can be located between late twenties and late
fifties. We are looking for actors who can bring the characters to active and believable
life, rather than conform to a particular age.

We are also looking for crew and live musicians - please email
helen.niland@condenast.co.uk or helen.niland@creativedirection.org.uk to
find out more.

Company Perfect World Productions

Casting director Helen Niland/ Michael Harrison