By Bernard Shaw
Directed by Brian Knott
INFORMATION NIGHT – Thursday 13th February at 7pm Arts Theatre
AUDITIONS Sat 15 Feb, 10am-5pm, & Sun 16, 10am-noon
Arts Theatre, 53 Angas Street, Adelaide
Season: Thursday 11 September to Saturday 20 2014 (bump-in, Sun7th)
Opening Night: Thursday 11 September
Venue: Arts Theatre, Adelaide
First read through To be confirmed
Rehearsals: Tuesday & Thursday evenings, 7pm-10pm, & Sunday afternoons, 2-5pm, NB. to be confirmed. . Rehearsals will usually take place in the Thomas Nave room at Arts Theatre.
|Hypatia is a bored heiress to an underwear fortune, trapped in an unhappy engagement. But then a plane crashes into the roof, bringing a handsome man, a female daredevil and all kinds of new ideas to shake up the quiet weekend in the country. Who will wind up with whom? And which alliance will be a hit – or a miss?|
Set in Hindhead, Surrey in the home of the noveau-riche Tarleton family. Originally from Leeds, the head of the house John Tarleton has made his fortune making affordable and durable underwear. Tarleton is an auto-didact and lover of books. He spends large amounts of money establishing free libraries while his eldest son Johnny, runs the business and resents Tarleton throwing money away.
Mrs. Tarleton is the undeniable mistress of the house and their daughter Hypatia is kept idle and bored by her position as the daughter of a wealthy family. She is engaged to Bentley Summerhays a bright but annoying son of the aristocracy. Strangled by convention, uninterested in the options given to women who marry, Hypatia longs for something more – for some adventure. To be, as she says, “an active verb.” She continues, “I want to be; I want to do; and I am game to suffer if it costs that. But stick here doing nothing but being good and nice and lady-like, I simply won’t.” She admits that she is even willing to marry the all-brains-and-no body Bentley, just to make some-thing happen. When Bentley’s father Lord Summerhays, a recently retired British Diplomat who has just returned from a foreign land, proposes to her she very nearly accepts him despite that fact that he is old enough to be her father.
Thankfully, in drops some adventure straight out of the sky when a dashing aviator crashes the weekend (quite literally – his plane crashes into the house), and brings along with him a female daredevil. Shaw complicates the question of who will wind up with whom in this hilarious examination of marriage and the New Woman struggling to emerge from the constraints of Victorian parenthood and morality, with its multiple marriage proposals (a total of eight in one afternoon).
THE TARLETON FAMILY: They are members of the nouveau riche or upper middle class, having made their fortune in the underwear business.
JOHN TARLETON SR: A self-made man. He built an empire out of underwear, but considers himself primarily a man of ideas — and indeed he has a voracious appetite for reading!
MRS TARLETON: John’s wife. Born into the working class, she now en-joys the luxury afforded her by her husband’s business success. Motherly and kind, she attends diligently to the needs of her family.
JOHNNY TARLETON: Their 30-year-old son, works in his father’s business. His notion of a good time is a relaxing novel and an invigorating game of tennis. Considers himself a real man of business.
HYPATIA TARLETON: Their daughter. A vivacious young woman who longs for adventure and escape from the boredom of her life’s confinements. Her father will not allow her to work, so she spends her time contemplating marriage to aristocrat Bunny Summerhays.
THE SUMMERHAYS: An aristocratic family. They are guests at the Tarleton’s home for the weekend.
LORD SUMMERHAYS: Bentley’s father. For 25 years, he was administrator of Jinghiskahn, a large colony of “ savage tribes”. Widowed and lonely, he once proposed marriage to Hypatia Tarleton, unaware that she was already secretly en-gaged to his son, Bunny.
BENTLEY (BUNNY) SUMMERHAYS: Engaged to Hypatia Tarleton. He has taken a position at Tarleton’s under-wear in order to win Mr. Tarleton’s approval. Small in stature and overly sensitive by nature, Bunny has lived an aristocratic and over-indulged childhood. Describing himself as “all brains and no more body than is absolutely necessary”.
THE INTRUDERS: JOEY PERCIVAL: An aristocratic friend of Bunny Summerhays. He is an airplane pilot who literally drops from the sky into the Tarleton’s home, fulfilling Hypatia’s wish for adventure … and for a man who has both brains and looks.
LINA SZCZEPANOWSKA: Joey’s air-plane passenger. She belongs to a very proud family of Polish acrobats who make it their business to be “wonderful” and to risk their lives every day. She is strong and independent and immediately wins the attention of every male.
GUNNER (aka John Brown and Julius Baker): Wants justice for his deceased mother, who was once involved with Mr. Tarleton. A disgruntled office clerk, he has brought a gun, intending to kill both Mr. Tarleton and himself
APPOINTMENTS CAN BE BOOKED BY CONTACTING BRIAN ON 8232 1397 OR ADELAIDE REP EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org or 8212 5777.
Auditions will be in pairs or small groups using extracts from the play.