GMDF Member Societies’ Acting Auditions, Plays, Musicals and Pantomimes
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The cast is twelve in all 7 female and 5 male. The play takes place over 20 years: I have given the ages of the characters at the start of the play. The play takes place in London and London accents are written into the play. The most important thing when casting will be to try and form a coherent family: I will be looking for actors who work well together and who will form convincing partnerships.
Frank Gibbons, 35: a plain, straightforward man, capable of deep emotion and articulation.
Ethel Gibbons, his wife, 34: sensible, practical and sensitive.
Sylvia, his sister, 34: a rather weak woman, prone to illness and worrying which means she can often irritate the other characters.
Reg, his son, 18: easily influenced by his friend Sam so often seen as weak by his sisters.
Queenie, his daughter, 19: an independent spirit, unafraid to defy convention.
Vi, his daughter, 20: reliable, dependent and conventional.
Mrs Flint, Ethel's mother, 60: appearance is important to her. She can be both prim and proper and rather snide. Not afraid to use emotional blackmail.
Bob Mitchell, 37:an ex-soldier who served with Frank. A typical loyal drinking partner and sounding board.
Billy Mitchell, 21, his son: a sailor, rather flighty and immature but very devoted in his love.
Sam Leadbitter, 19: a passionate young communist, persuasive and charismatic
Phyllis Blake, a friend of Queenie's, 19: pleasant, rather matter-of-fact. Marries Reg.
Edie, 25: a maid with a bit of a feisty attitude.
The story of the play concerns the working class Gibbons family between the end of World War I and the outbreak of World War II. It anticipates the non-violent ways in which social justice issues might be incorporated into post-war national reconstruction, examines the personal trauma caused by the sudden death of sons and daughters and anticipates the forthcoming return of English men from the war. It is also an intimate portrait of the economy and politics of Great Britain in the 1920s and 30s (such as the General Strike of 1926), as well as showing the advances in technology – the arrival of primitive crystal radio sets and telephones, home gas lights being replaced by electricity and mass broadcast radio