Rules for Living by Sam Holcroft – 26th February to 3rd March

Read Through 

Wednesday 4 October 7.30pm for a 7.45pm start

Audition Dates

Wednesday 11 October 8pm – 10pm and Sunday 15 October 5.30pm – 7.30pm

We are hoping that it will be a shorter more intensive rehearsal period over the following period:

w/c 28 November
w/c 5 December
w/c 12 December
w/c 15 January
w/c 22 January BOOKS DOWN
w/c 29 January
w/c 5 February
w/c 12 February
w/c 19 February
w/c 26 February PERFORMANCES

3 rehearsals a week for 9 weeks = 27 rehearsals total

About the play:

Rules for Living is a hilarious Ayckbourn-style black comedy by the award winning Sam Holcroft. It was first performed at the National Theatre in 2015.
Edith gathers her family for a traditional Christmas lunch. She has planned everything with military precision. However the festivities reveal the tensions among her offspring. One son, Matthew, arrives with his girlfriend Carrie, a larger than life and slightly crude actress, but he is secretly in love with his sister-in-law, Sheena. Sheena, unable to contain her anger at her cynical underachieving husband, Adam, decides to hit the bottle. Their daughter, Emma, is suffering from severe anxiety and is even struggling to get out of bed and join them for Christmas dinner. Edith has neglected from telling the family that her husband Francis has suffered from a stroke so when he enters in a wheelchair unable to communicate the entire family is in shock. The tension builds, accusations (and food) fly, relationships fall apart and the rules take over. Each of the characters generate coping strategies (or rules) to help them get through the chaos. These rules are displayed for the audience to see; “Matthew must sit to tell a lie”, “Edith must clean to keep calm”. With true feelings exposed there really is no place to hide.


Edith – 60’s/70’s – married to Francis and mother to Adam and Matthew. She is a perfectionist and a stickler for the rules. Christmas day is run like a military operation.

Adam – 30’s/40’s – married to Sheena. Failed cricket star. Mediocre lawyer. Must be good (or at least be confident to attempt) lots of different accents!

Sheena – 30’s/40’s – married to Adam. A bit neurotic with an unhealthy attitude to alcohol. Wants Adam to go to couples therapy to get their relationship back on track.

Matthew – 20’s/30’s – boyfriend of Carrie. A successful lawyer. In love with his sister-in-law Sheena.

Carrie – 20’s/30’s – girlfriend of Matthew. A resting actress. Very needy. Desperately trying to tone down her larger than life, comic, personality to fit in with Matthews family.

Francis – 60’s/70’s – married to Edith and father to Adam and Matthew.  He is a respectable, retired Judge. This is a smaller part. He has just suffered from a post-operative stroke. As a result he is suffering from right-sided partial paralysis. He is only able to say simple words and phrases, not complete sentences, and struggles to make even those words understood. He still has lots of comic moments though!!

Emma – 14 – 17 yrs old – daughter of Adam and Sheena. This is a small part. She suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and severe anxiety and has spent most of Christmas day up in her bedroom. She has a great speech at the climax of the play.

The characters rules which build up as the play goes on:
Rule 1: Matthew must sit and eat to tell a lie…until he gets a compliment.
Rule 2: Carrie must stand and dance around to tell a joke…until she gets a laugh.
Rule 3: Sheena must drink and interrupt to contradict…until she has the last word.
Rule 4: Adam must affect and accent and name-call to mock…until he has deflected blame.
Rule 5: Edith must clean and self-medicate to keep clam…until she gets reassurance.

Please find the audition sections attached as follows:

Rules for Living – Audition Section 1 – Matthew and Carrie – pg 10 – 14. This is the very opening of the play. Matthew and Carrie have just arrived at Edith’s house.

Rules for Living – Audition Section 2 –  Sheena and Adam – pg 50 – 53. Adam and Sheena have been having some troubles with their relationship. Their daughter is suffering from severe anxiety and Sheena is frustrated with Adam due to his lack of ambition, which is causing her to drink more.

Rules for Living – Audition Section 3 – Edith, Francis, Carrie, Matthew, Sheena and Adam pg 64 – 69. This is the big reveal moment. Edith has been in denial about her husbands stroke and when she brings him in to see the family. Matthew, Carrie, Adam and Sheena are all shocked to see him in such a bad way. For the purpose of the audition please ignore the fact that the interval falls half way through this scene!

Rules for Living – Audition Section 4 – Emma pg 118. Emma is suffering from severe anxiety. She has been in bed all day. She comes downstairs to let her family know that she would like to climb the hill, which is a big deal since she has been struggling to find the energy to face getting out of bed. She enters the scene at the climax of the play when everything has descended into complete chaos; food is flying everywhere, hair is being pulled and generally the adults are seriously misbehaving! They all stop fighting when Emma enters.

With these audition sections please adhere to the rules when they are in play – these will be clearly indicated in the stage directions. The stage directions will tell you when to sit, stand, dance, drink, clean, self-medicate, affect an accent etc…the trick will be trying to make all these things look as natural as possible!


The Scary Secrets of Septimus Sloane – 3rd to 7th Jan & 10th to 13th Jan

By Peter van Manen

Directed by Siobhan James & Peter van Manen

Choreography by Kirsty Hudson & Monty Camisa-Bundy

Music by Philippa Lucas

Read through: Wed 30th August 2017 at 8pm

Audition dates:

Sunday 10th Sept at 2pm & Tues 12th Sept at 8pm


Tues & Thurs 8pm, Sun 2pm, starting October

About the melodrama:

Septimus Sloane is the founder of Sloane Pharmaceuticals and inventor of the youth serum “Dorian”.  He wants to marry his young assistant, Sally Forth, but his seven daughters are not happy about it.  Neither are Beryl, Olive and Old Rene, the ladies who look after the house and kitchen.  Meanwhile, Septimus’s archrival, Darius Du Bad, is intent on stealing the formula for “Dorian” and the heart of Septimus’s pretty daughter, Daisy.  Beryl’s handsome son, Melvin, is none too happy about this as he is in love with Daisy himself.

Dastardly deeds are aplenty in this ‘whodunnit’ musical melodrama full of secrets, live music, laughter and dancing. There are 26 juicy parts for adults and members of the youth theatre.


Septimus’s daughters (suitable for young ladies up to 30 years old)
Sabrina (*) – nasty
Samantha (*) – haughty
Sasha – naughty
Stephanie – spoiled
Susan – geeky
Sharon (*) – flirty
Daisy (*) – sweet (and secretly in love with Melvin)
Murgatroyd – Septimus’s butler / Cadbury – Darius’s butler (adult)
Dr Septimus Sloane (adult)
Melvin Close – lawyer (suitable for a young man up to 30 years old)
Dr Sally Forth – Septimus’s assistant & fiancé (adult)
Dr Darius Du Bad (*) – Septimus’s rival (adult)
Craven Coward – Darius’s sidekick (adult)
Bozo – a clown (youth or adult)
Coco – a clown (youth or adult)
Crusty – a clown (youth or adult)
Hughie – a hoodlum (youth or adult)
Llewy – a hoodlum (youth or adult)
Chewy – a hoodlum (youth or adult)
Willie Growmore – gardener (adult)
Beryl Close – cook & Melvin’s mother (adult)
Olive Hurlone – housekeeper (adult)
Old Rene – nanny (adult)
Joyce Bricks – Septimus’s Private Secretary (adult)
Inspector Little – a police inspector (adult)
PC Plenty – a police constable (adult)

Audition information:

We encourage anybody who can attend to join us at the read-through on the Wednesday evening after the August Bank holiday weekend. It should be a fun evening and will give you an insight into the plot and characters of this dastardly tale – plus perhaps a sing-song or two!

The auditions will be held on the stage and include reading through parts and some movement and singing. Anybody auditioning for parts marked (*) will be expected to sing a song at the auditions. Everybody is involved in chorus numbers at least some point during the production. Characters marked in bold are the principal heroes and villains.

In the interests of avoiding spoilers, full scripts will not be circulated before the read-through. However, a PDF of Act One and Act Two, Scene 2 (policemen’s entrance), will be made available upon request from

Youth theatre double bill – 5th to 9th September 2017

Directors: Jane and Nick Foster (

Production Manager: Liz Bignell (

Read-through:  Sunday 7th May at 2.30 pm – in the Rehearsal Room

Audition dates:

Thursday 18th May 7.30 pm – at Coulsdon Methodist Church, Brighton Road, Coulsdon
Sunday 21st May 2.30 pm – in the Rehearsal Room

About the plays:

‘Mugged’ by Andrew Payne

Every morning, a group of teenagers meet up on their way to school and hang out on the benches in the park. And every morning they are faced with the same dilemma: take the short cut across the park and risk running into the muggers, or go the long way round and risk being late…

‘Taking Breath’ by Sarah Daniels

Elliot, a would-be eco-warrior, has fallen from a tree and now lies in a coma in hospital.  But when he fell, he somehow slipped into the past, meeting Lucy, a troubled servant girl and suffragette from 1913.  Meanwhile, Alana, excluded from school for selling ‘E’, passionately follows Elliot’s news coverage on TV.  As the play unfolds, it becomes clear that Lucy was Alana’s great-grandmother, with an interesting story of her own to tell.  Can Alana use this connection to help Elliot’s recovery, and in doing so, find peace for herself?


We are looking for a large-ish cast of the older Youth Theatre members, to play characters ranging in age from 14 to adult.  There will also be plenty of opportunity to get involved backstage.

‘Mugged’: The main characters are 4 boys and 2 girls from the same school, aged 15-16, although some should appear older.  In addition, we need an ensemble of at least 7 other actors to play a number of other roles, including newsreaders, a TV reporter, passers-by, a police officer and a vicar.

‘Taking Breath’: There are 6 female characters and 4 male characters, aged between 14 and 20, plus a man’s voice offstage.

We would expect to double some of the smaller parts, and some actors could be involved in both plays.

Audition notes

If you are interested in a particular character, then please say.  However, rather than audition for just one part, we would prefer you to come with an open mind and consider all possibilities.

We will not be using specific audition pieces for each character, but instead will work through a number of scenes from each play, to see how different actors work together.  At the read-through, we will let you know which scenes will be used, and copies of both plays will be available.  If you can’t make the read-through but would like to audition, please contact Jane and Nick for a script.  Also, if you want to audition but can’t make either of the audition dates, please let us know and we can arrange another time to see you.

We will be rehearsing during the following periods: 4th to 22nd June; 5th to 20th July; and 30th July to 4th September.  We understand that most people will be away at some point over the summer, and will do our best to fit rehearsals around holidays etc.  However, it is essential that you let us know your availability in advance


A Doll’s House – 29th MAY – 3rd JUNE

Director: Chris Hearn

Read through: Tuesday 21st February 8pm


Sunday 5th March 3pm

Wednesday 8th March 8pm


To be announced


Nora Helmer once borrowed a large sum of money so that her husband, Torvald, could go to Italy and recuperate from a serious illness. She never told him of this loan and has been secretly paying it back from her household allowance. Torvald has recently been appointed manager of the local bank and his first act is to fire a man who was once disgraced for forging a signature on a document. This man, Nils Krogstad, is the person from whom Nora borrowed the money. It is then revealed that Nora forged her father’s signature in order to get the money. Krogstad threatens to expose Nora’s crime and disgrace her and Torvald unless she persuades her husband not to fire him. Christine Linde, a former friend of Nora’s appears and confesses that she married for financial gain, without love and that Nora’s only hope for happiness is to be truthful and tell her husband of her deception. Torvald thinks Nora is a foolish child who cannot understand the value of money or business. So when Torvald eventually discovers that Nora forged her father’s signature, he is ready to disclaim his wife even though she did it for him. At the conclusion of the play Nora sees that Torvald is not worthy of her love and leaves him.


Nora Helmer, 30s. At first quite timid and fanciful but later shows her inner strength. Pages 106-109

Torvald Helmer, 30s. Treats his wife as a little doll. Would do anything to preserve his good reputation. Pages 98 ‘Oh don’t be so pathetic’ to 101.

Kristine, 40s. Friend of Nora. She tries to guide her into being true to herself. Pages 16 ‘Kristine, is it really true…’ to 17.

Krogstad, 40s. Nora’s creditor and blackmailer who later lets her off the hook. Pages 36 ‘Mrs Helmer. Have you any idea…’ to 38 halfway down.

Dr Rank, 60s. Friend of Torvald and Nora. The voice of authority. Pages 60 ‘I’m glad’ to 61.

Helene, 20s. The maid. Page 22, the short speech.

Anna, 60s. The nanny. Pages 47 – 49.


Copies of the play will be handed out at the read through


Director: Maggie May


Thursday 25th August 2016 at 8pm

Tuesday 30th August 2016 at 8pm


To be announced


It is Moscow in 1938. A dangerous place to have a sense of humour, even more so a sense of freedom. Mikhail Bulgakov, living among dissidents, stalked by secret police, has both. And then he’s offered a poisoned chalice: a commission to write a play about Stalin to celebrate his 60th birthday. It would be a means to get his recently finished play performed rather than censored and put on the scrapheap. The premise is based on fact but Hodge drifts off into fantasy as he imagines Stalin secretly meeting with the playwright to help out. He even has the pair switch roles – Stalin writes his own play while Bulgakov signs off the leader’s political diktats, including instigating his infamous purges.
Presented at the National theatre in 2011 with Alex Jennings and Simon Russell Beale, the play received 4 star reviews from the Telegraph “This is a truly tremendous double act which thrills chills and makes you laugh out loud – even though you know you shouldn’t.


This might appear to be a rather serious and heavy play – an author, who has his brilliant work suppressed by the Stalinist regime. Creativity itself, throttled if it so much hinted of dissidence. John Hodge has, however, produced a brilliant black comedy and every line should be delivered with a whiff of tongue-in-cheek or surreality. We need a slightly wicked sense of humour on delivery. A serious subject…yes…but the audience should leave light-hearted, almost finding Stalin rather endearing!


Stalin /Bulgakov Page 36 – 38, Page 50 – 53, Page 60 – 62 and Page 94 – 97

Yelena / Bulgakov Page 4-5

Yelena/Doctor/Bulgakov/Vasilly / Grigory/Anna Page 8 – 13, Page 23 – 25

Doctor/Bulgakov Page 26 – 28

Vladimir / Bulgakov Pae 17 – 21, Page 31 – 33

Grigory Page 24 25, page 54-57, Page 69 – 70

Vasilly / Praskovya Page 5 – 7

Vasilly Page 48-49

Several small parts also to be filled!

Fill in the following form for information on scripts: