Audition (Production) – “Mules” by Winsome Pinnock
Tuesday March 10 @ 7:30 pm|Recurring Event (See all)
One event on March 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
One event on March 14, 2020 at 11:00 am
One event on March 12, 2020 at 7:30 pm
One event on March 14, 2020 at 11:00 am
Audition dates and times :
Tuesday 10 and Thursday 12 March at 7.30pm, and Saturday 14 March at 11.00am at the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington.
Recalls (if required) will be arranged as soon as possible after auditions.
If you plan to audition, please RSVP (below) for one of the three audition dates and complete the form with your contact, interest, availability, and other details. Please also contact the Director, Landé Belo if you have any questions about the auditions, play, production, or cannot come to the auditions on any of the dates shown.
Important note on auditions
Auditions are for fully paid up Tower Theatre Company acting members only. Click here for details. If you would like to join the company you will need to take a company audition. To arrange this please contact one of the auditions co-ordinators: Peter Westbury or Stephen Brasher. The next company auditions are scheduled for 5 January, 2 February and 1 March 2020.
A read through of the entire play has been scheduled for 11am on Saturday 8 February 2020 at Tower Theatre. This is to provide an opportunity for those interested in auditioning to learn more about the play and the characters. The read through is open to both Company members and non-members. If you would like to attend the read through, please book through the Tower Office.
Rehearsals will take place on weekday evenings (normally Tuesday, Thursday and Friday) and weekends (Saturday). There will be a weekend workshop on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March which will include a cast read through of the play and exploratory work. Thereafter, rehearsals will begin from Tuesday 31 March to the run of the play. Exact dates and times to be determined.
NB: All cast and crew will be required for the Get-in and tech rehearsal all day on Sunday 7 June and Monday 8 June and dress rehearsal from 7-10pm on Tuesday 9 June. Therefore, you will need to take the day off work for the Monday rehearsal.
Performance dates and venue:
Evenings at 7.30 – Wednesday 10 June to Saturday 13 June and Tuesday 16 June to Saturday 20 June
Matinées at 3pm – Saturdays 13 and 20 June
to be performed at the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington
About the Director:
This is Landé’s ninth production with Tower Theatre and her second production as director, following her directorial debut with Tower’s 2019 production of Fix Up. Her Tower acting credits include: Francine/Lena in Clybourne Park; multiple characters in Doctor Faustus; Prudence in The House of Bernarda Alba; Pope Joan/Louise in Top Girls; Jellaby in Arcadia and Cynthia in Sweat in February 2020. Other acting credits include: Estelle in Huis Clos (Kawa Théatre); Judas in Une Forte Odeur de Pomme (La Compagnie Maritime); Fay in A Chorus of Disapproval; Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing (Garden Suburb Theatre); and Gillian in Thriller of the Year (Incognito Theatre). Other credits with Tower: Assistant Director on To Kill A Mocking Bird and Sweat.
The director writes:
“Wanted: Women to traffic drugs. That’s the job. There’s cash, international travel, a chance to make it big. Risks include violence, betrayal, incarceration, death.”
Mules is a ‘no holds barred’ tale of disparate (and at times, desperate) young women who get caught up in the international drug trade as drug couriers or “mules”, whether to escape poverty and victimhood or to acquire wealth and power in a world where they are systematically excluded.
Mules was commissioned by Clean Break Theatre Company and premiered at the Royal Court Upstairs in April 1996. Winsome Pinnock is an award-winning British playwright, described in The Guardian as “the godmother of black British playwrights”.
The play is primarily set in Kingston and London. At the heart of the play is the story of a young runaway (Allie) and two Jamaican sisters (Lyla and Lou) who fall under the spell of an influential and rather glamorous drug-runner (Bridie). There are 12 characters in the play (all female) and traditionally the play has been performed using 3 actors only. For this production, the intention is to cast 6-8 actors playing the 12 roles, as a way to afford more opportunities to female actors. This play will appeal to character actors, who are comfortable working in an ensemble and open to experimenting with accents and range. We do have dialect coaches to assist with accents.
Bridie [40s, black, has an American accent, but must be able to lapse into a Jamaican accent]
The designer clad, big boss of the mules, reporting into the drug lord, Cliveden. She’s been in the drug trade for over 15 years, starting off as a mule and working her way up the drug corporate chain. A natural leader and gifted at luring in potential mules. She is haunted by a ghost of a young girl – possibly a former mule. Commands respect from her team who either fear her or want to be her. Loves her job, due to the power and independence it gives her and doesn’t seem to fear anyone (including Cliveden) as she believes she’s smarter than him and indispensable to the crime syndicate.
Allie [19, any ethnicity, regional accent]
Runaway from outside London – never specified where, but in previous productions she’s been described as having a Geordie accent. She comes across as naïve, sweet and innocent, but she’s a lot tougher than she makes out and displays real survival instincts. She wears a lot of make-up and is fussy about how she looks. She craves agency and independence, after a life of feeling restricted and controlled. She’s very perceptive, neat and well turned out. She never sees herself as a victim, though people try to take advantage of her.
Lyla [20s-30s, black, Jamaican accent]
She and her sister Lou are ‘higglers’ – they sell used underwear in markets. She wants to save up money to buy a house away from the ‘Trenchtown’ community they grew up in. Straight talking and direct; doesn’t trust people easily. She doesn’t want to be involved in the local crime syndicate, even if it’s a means to getting outside the ghetto. She feels that one is responsible for one’s own destiny and choices. She is very protective of Lou (though Lyla is the younger sister).
Lou [20s-30s, black, Jamaican accent]
Lyla’s older sister, though sometimes, she comes across as the younger and greener of the two. She is gregarious and always has a funny story to recite. Fiercely attracted to the high life and impressed by Bridie and her designer clothes. She likes to party and thinks Lyla can be a bit of a stickler at times. She tends to bury her head in the sand and doesn’t want to face reality when it hits her.
Olu [22, black, Nigerian accent]/ [doubles with Piglet/Bad Girl 2]
Comes from a very strict and privileged family in Nigeria. She ran away as a teenager to seek independence. She got involved with people smugglers and in exchange for a fake passport, she had to run drugs between Nigeria and Britain. Smart, well-educated and used to getting her way.
Rog [20s-30s, black or other ethnic minority, cockney accent]/ [doubles with Rose/Pepper]
One of Bridie’s direct reports. An easy going manager, probably too nice to be in such a job. Avoids confrontation and is not as assertive as Bridie or Sammie. Looks up to Bridie, fears her and aspires to be her one day. She loves the lifestyle that her work affords her and loves shopping for clothes and waving around her Amex Gold card. Has a hint of imposter syndrome, and feels she has to prove to others that she’s worth it. She comes from humble origins and has suffered bigotry. She appears to have a moral compass and believes if you do right by people, no harm will come to you.
Sammie [20s-30s, any ethnicity, any London accent]/ [doubles with Bad Girl 1]
One of Bridie’s direct reports. She’s risen from humble origins and spends all her hard earned money on collecting art. She has a very pragmatic approach to life. She is fairly measured, although when we first see her she is caught off guard. She has no illusions about the drug trade or their place in it and is used to violence and doesn’t seem to fear it. She had a car crash that almost left her for dead years ago. She doesn’t like being relegated to a gender stereo type and being treated as a victim.
Minor characters (to be doubled)
Rose [40s-60s, any ethnicity, any accent]
Landlady of the bedsit that Olu and Allie rent out. She’s tough as nails and has no qualms about evicting defaulting tenants. She doesn’t get on with her neighbours and has not spoken to one of them in over 30 years. She believes that people’s misfortunes are brought on by themselves.
Pepper [30s, any ethnicity, any accent]
Street hustler, thief, criminal and drug user. Appreciates the simple things in life, like the city at night or watching the sun rise. Left home a long time ago and has been living the street life of petty crime for some time. Although she’s a criminal, she is capable of compassion and understands the value of love and family. She and Piglet are associates, but it’s clear that Pepper is the one who calls the shots and decides on whom to steal from.
Piglet [20s, any ethnicity, any accent]
Street hustler, thief, criminal and drug user. Has had a hard life and been deprived of anything nice or pretty. She is not a totally hardened criminal and is not beyond redemption. Has been taken advantage of in her own life and has had to toughen up. Longs for the childhood that was ripped from her and likes fantasising about being anyone but herself.
Bad Girl 1 [any age and ethnicity]
Criminal who roams the streets and breaks into people’s houses. Doesn’t think there is much that separates mankind from animals. Calls out white, straight, male privilege and believes that everything is rigged against those who don’t fall into that category. She accepts it as the natural order as opposed to challenging it.
Bad Girl 2 [any age and ethnicity]
Criminal who roams the streets and breaks into people’s houses. Feels that women are even more susceptible to pain than men. Opportunistic, but when under attack displays vulnerability.
Playing ages given above are for guidance and are flexible. If you wish to audition for a role but feel you are not the right playing age please either audition in any event or contact the Director prior to the audition.
The script to be used is the Faber and Faber edition. If cast, you will be required to purchase your own copy. The script is available on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Stagescript-Mules-Stagescripts-Winsome-Pinnock/dp/0571190227