The play is the latest to come from Have I Got News For You star Ian Hislop with Spitting Image writer Nick Newman. The piece is an homage to amateur drama and involves an aging Hollywood actor agreeing to play King Lear in Stratford. However, instead of the birthplace of the famous Bard, Stratford turns out to be a sleepy Suffolk town and the production is being staged by, what else but a bunch of amateurs who are trying to save their community theatre by involving an A-lister. What could possibly go wrong?
There are significant roles for four women and three men including Jefferson Steel, vain and self-centred, but who learns some truths about himself, along with his inner Lear, mainly thanks to the involvement of his teenage daughter Carefully sketched characters from the Stratford Players mirror a cross-section of the community from local solicitor to handyman, B&B owner to physiotherapist.
Director Peter Liddiard comments:
“This play certainly has hilarious moments as egoes and cultures collide and Jefferson realises he must come to grips with his unexpected situation. There are many twists and turns throughout with brilliant comic dialogue.”
Auditions are being held at Chesil Theatre, Chesil Street, Winchester on Saturday 27th October at 12.30pm and Sunday 28th October at 7.45pm. There will be an informal playreading on Friday 26th October at 7.45pm when newcomers are particularly welcome. Performances take place on 26th January to 2nd February 2019 and booking is now open from www.chesiltheatre.org.uk.
The roles are:
Jefferson Steel – a fading Hollywood star: think Charlton Heston meets Clint Eastwood,
Jessica Steel – his teenage daughter,
Dorothy Nettle – director of the Stratford Players,
Nigel Dewbury – local solicitor, self-regarding leading light of the Stratford Players,
Mary Plunkett – B&B owner and unashamedly adoring Jefferson Steel fan,
Denis Dobbins – useful handyman, enthusiastic but rather dull,
Lauren Bell – wife of sponsor, considered a bimbo but smarter than she looks.