by Irvine Welsh (adapted for the stage by Harry Gibson)
James McKendrick has been a Tower Theatre Company Member since 2013 and has acted in six productions, the most recent as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing. For the Tower, he directed Kafka's Dick earlier this year. Elsewhere, he has directed a trio of Jim Cartwright plays (Road, Two and Bed), the critically acclaimed Work Makes You Free, which garnered several five and four star reviews and was lauded as a "highlight of the Vault Festival 2018" (Fringe Guru), and Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off.
The director writes :
The production will be staged up close to the audience and will use effects, lights and music to maintain momentum and continuity between scenes. It will also involve considerable movement and stage combat which will be physically demanding, requiring a high level of commitment and energy from the cast.
Accents : There's really no getting around this, as the play is written phonetically in a Leith (East Edinburgh) dialect. I wouldn't want anyone to let the challenge of the accent deter them from auditioning and I'm not expecting everyone to be pitch perfect. Additionally, I intend to get some voice coaching help during rehearsals. However, for auditions, it will be important that people at least have a go at a generic Scottish accent if they're going to do themselves justice in putting the piece across.
The play contains extremely challenging material and will require a great deal of commitment from the cast. The play portrays scenes of a sexual nature, intravenous drug use, and scenes of violence. It also features extremely strong language throughout.
The challenges this will present in rehearsal will be handled professionally and with sensitivity, but it is essential auditionees have read the whole play and are comfortable with the demands presented by much of the material.
The characters :
The original cast was four actors (3M, 1F), with their principal role highlighted below and these actors doubling in all other roles. However, as the principal roles are in the 20-30 playing age range, I think there is scope for having two extra cast members (1M and 1F) playing a range of parts outside of this range.
Principal roles (approx. 20 - 30s playing age, as they went to school together, so will need to look of a similar playing age) :
Mark Renton : An unemployed, university drop out and a junky.
Tommy Murphy/Simon "Sick Boy" Williamson : Tommy is unemployed, into drinking, taking E and clubbing. "Sick Boy" is a junky, occasional rent boy and chancer.
Franco Begbie : Petty criminal, heavy drinker and psychopath.
Alison : Waitress, junky and mother of Dawn.
Doubling roles (No specific age, but as some of the roles will be playing parents of the characters above, they need to look plausible in those roles) : 1M, 1F, including the roles of Johnny Swan/Barman/Begbie Snr and June/Lizzie/Mrs Renton.
Please read the play before auditioning. The play is published by Vintage/Random House as part of the "Irvine Welsh 4Play" collection.