Show Auditions : Measure for Measure

by William Shakespeare. Directed by George Savona.

Performance dates and venue :
Evenings at 7.30pm: Wednesday 22 – Saturday 25 May and Tuesday 28 May – Saturday 1 June
Matinées at 3pm: Saturdays 25 May and 1 June
to be performed at the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington

Audition dates and time :
Auditions will take place at the Tower Theatre on Monday 4 and Thursday 7 March from 6pm.
Possible recalls will take place on Saturday 9 March from 12.30pm.

Please read the play before auditioning. It may be downloaded, cost-free, from here

The auditions will consist of a monologue reading or/and an extract read-through.
In addition, please prepare a reading of one of the following Shakespeare sonnets: nos. 8, 23, 24, 38. These may also be downloaded cost-free, from here.

If you would like to audition, please email the director, George Savona to indicate the role/s in which you are interested and your preferred evening. Should you be unable to attend on the above dates, it may be possible to arrange an alternative slot.

Auditions are for Tower Theatre Company Members only.

If you would like to join the Company, please click here for more information.

Please come prepared at auditions to give the Director any dates during the rehearsal period that you are unavailable. Please make it clear if you wish to audition for certain roles only and are not prepared to accept another part.

Overview of the play
Measure For Measure (1604), a tragi-comedy contemporaneous with Shakespeare’s mature tragedies, is routinely characterised as a ‘dark comedy’ or ‘problem play’ – in respect both of its prevailing mood and the moral and political problems which it examines. The narrative springboard may be seen as an experiment in statecraft. Duke Vincentio, concerned that Vienna’s laws have been allowed to slip into dis-use under his benevolent governance, stands temporarily aside in favour of his Puritan deputy Angelo. Corruption and chaos ensue. Disguised as a friar, the Duke observes Angelo’s misrule, mitigates its consequent harms and brings about a balanced resolution. A raucous underplot, located in the milieux of brothel and prison, reflects with an unusual precision the main plot’s concerns.

I intend to set Measure at the time of the mid-17C Commonwealth, the better to highlight the double-edge of Puritanism and current issues around rights, consent and the disparity between law and justice. I’ll be using a bare-stage story-telling approach.

Dramatis Personae

Vincentio : The benevolent, all-seeing Duke of Vienna, 35-55

Isabella :A novice nun pursued by Angelo, the opposite of victim material, 18-30

Angelo : The Duke’s deputy, a Puritan conflicted by desire, 25-45

Lucio : A ‘fantastical’ and troublesome gallant, 20-30

Escalus : A wise and kindly magistrate, 50+

Provost : A compassionate prison governor, 30+

Elbow : A linguistically challenged constable, 30+

Pompey : Bawd to Mistress Overdone, 25+

Claudio : Isabella’s brother, a gallant under threat of execution, 20-30

Mariana : Angelo’s abandoned fiancée, 25-40

Mistress Overdone : A much-married brothel-keeper, 35+

Juliet : A gentlewoman, pregnant by Claudio, 15-25

Abhorson : A fastidious executoner, 30+

Master Froth : A wealthy but naïve young gentleman, 15-25

Barnadine : An inebriated reprobate, also under threat of execution, 40+

Friar Peter

Friar Thomas

Francisca : A nun

Two Gentlemen : Associates of Lucio

While these roles have traditionally been for the most part played by white actors, the Tower operates a policy of colour conscious casting, and so applications are invited from members of all ethnicities and backgrounds. In the case of some male roles, casting may be gender-blind.

Playing ages are a broad guide; in a few cases age is immaterial. Smaller roles will be taken by members of the ensemble; hence some doubling or trebling will be in order.

There will be an initial company meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 12 March. Rehearsals will begin the following week (w/c 18 March), and will require availability as called on two weekday evenings from 6pm to 10pm and on Saturdays from 12.30pm.
All cast members are required to assist with the get-in and set build and technical rehearsals all day on Sunday 19 and Monday 20 May and the dress rehearsal from 4pm on Tuesday 21 May.

Ella DaleElla Dale started acting at the age of eleven, when she was cast as the lead role of Katie-Ann in Katie-Ann’s Blog, a BBC Radio 4 drama series, playing opposite Roy Hudd. Since then, she has performed in numerous other plays for BBC Radio 4, including War and Peace and The Story of the Lost Child; she also narrated the Costa Short Story Book Award entry Scrimshaw. Ella also has experience in voice acting; she voiced Monumetal in Sony’s hit video game Demon’s Souls. She has been a member of National Youth Theatre since 2017 and whilst studying French at King’s College London, she was involved in numerous productions including playing Cecily in The Importance of Being Earnest and Ida in Wolves Are Coming For You. She most recently played Bobbie in The Railway Children at the Old Court, Windsor. This will be Ella’s debut performance at the Tower.
Luke OwenLuke Owen is making his fourth appearance for the Tower as Lucio. He was most recently seen as the enigmatic, mop-wielding Boson in Mosquitoes, before which he appeared in Talk Radio (Stu) and Henry V (Dauphin/Scroop/others). Luke previously lived in Norwich, where his acting credits included King Lear (Duke of Albany), Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew), Flare Path (Teddy), The Comedy of Errors (Antipholus of Ephesus), A Christmas Carol (Bob Cratchit), The Producers (Carmen Ghia) and Fiddler on the Roof (Motel). Luke is also a scriptwriter; his play Unscorched won the Papatango New Writing Prize in 2013 and premiered at the Finborough Theatre, earning a four-star review from Michael Billington in The Guardian. He currently has two movies in development, one of which has just been optioned by a major independent production company that hopes to start filming in 2024/5.
Landé BeloLandé Belo’s acting credits with the Tower 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, Cynthia in Sweat and Queen Elizabeth in Richard III. As director: Fix Up (2019); I can’t breathe: being black in a time of Covid (part of the Love [and Survival] Festival) (2021), Mules (2021), Leave Taking (2022) and The Gift (2023). As producer: In Hiding (2023). Next up is Ain’t I A Woman? in July 2024, part of Landé’s initiative to promote black, female voices in theatre.
BeEbop CuraçaoBeEbop Curaçao is an actor, vocalist and multi-disciplinary artist. Accredited through LAMDA, Guildhall, Rising Tide, IMW, City Lit and others, she has worked in music and television in various capacities, including presenting and curatorial roles. She advocates theatre as a critical platform for activism in exploring concepts of identity, transformation, and social change. She has performed in various Tower Theatre plays, co-curated Tower Theatre podcasts, played Speaker in PMQ and assistant-directed on Nine Night, recently recorded two radio dramas and played a Tango-dancing Chef in Fine Dining at the Canal Cafe Theatre.
Steven SaxbySteven Saxby began treading the boards as a child and has acted in various shows with local companies, including as Curly in Oklahama, the Duke of Dunstable in Patience, a rat, a beaver and the villain in pantomimes, and numerous exuberant characters in music hall performances. Previously his only Shakespearean role was Mustardseed in A Midsummer’s Nights Dream, so he is delighted to be playing Elbow in this, his first, production with the Tower Theatre Company.
Sam D’LeonSam D’Leon is a graduate of the Academy of Live & Recorded Arts (1990). Currently he has been acting in short films and he works regularly as a musician. This is his second production at The Tower Theatre; last year he played the Snake and the Geographer in The Little Prince. Previous acting roles include Constantine in The Seagull, Touchstone in As You Like It, Bronterre O’Brian Price in Major Barbara, Geovani in ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and Keith Burgess in Stage Door. He has also performed as a mime and clown in theme parks and special events and as a juggler in night clubs.
Jake WilliamsThis is Jake Williams’s first play for the Tower Theatre. Before re-training as a primary school teacher, Jake spent 6 years working as an actor. He acted in a variety of shows and films during this time including Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth.
Cymbre BarnesThis is Cymbre Barnes‘s second show with the Tower; she appeared as Jessica in the 2021 production of The Merchant of Venice. Throughout her childhood and time at the Guildford School of Acting, she was involved in many productions. Most notably, her enthusiasm for theatre began at age 10 with the lead role in Annie at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. In her day job, Cymbre works in the city as a Financial Planner.
Katie SmithSince joining the Tower Theatre in 2013 Katie Smith has performed in a number of productions including Under The Blue Sky, An Enemy of the People, Clybourne Park, Sherlock Holmes, Sweat, Penny from Heaven (the Tower’s Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid festival), Passing the Spoon, Waiting for Grotto for the Tower’s Writers’ Room, Lynndie (in a fetching clown costume) in Lynndie’s Gotta Gun and The Gift. Katie most recently directed Bertha and Hal for Spring Forward; her first time directing for the Tower.
Nat BarkerNat Barker is a journalist. Measure for Measure will be his second production at the Tower, after playing Cliff in Seagulls in summer 2023.
Christopher Lloyd-JamesChristopher Lloyd-James joined the Tower Theatre in February this year and this is his first Tower production. After a very long gap he started acting again seven years ago & appeared in Rumble! at the Drayton Arms Theatre in 2022. He has also appeared in a number of short films and music video.
Stephen DeavilleThis will be Stephen Deaville‘s first production for the Tower Theatre company and he is excited to be kicking things off with a Shakespearean production, bringing his experience of successful open air productions of Twelfth Night as Orsino, Ferdinand in The Tempest, and Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet. A regular on the Hertfordshire theatre circuit, Stephen’s recent performances include Roland in Constellations, Larry in Closer, and Lt George in Blackadder Goes Forth at the Barn Theatre in Hertfordshire. He is also in a production of The Bright and Bold Design this April in Hertford.
George SavonaThis will be George Savona‘s fourth Shakespeare production – after A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear and Macbeth, as well as other work of the period by Jonson (The Alchemist) and Marston (The Dutch Courtesan) – and his second production at the Tower, after PMQ. Most recently, he directed a Caryl Churchill double-bill at Questors (Escaped Alone and What If If Only), and one by Christine Fox (Fine Dining and Boar Intent) which recently completed its run at the Canal Cafe Theatre.

Scenic Artist : Penny Herridge
Costume Design : Christine Bowmaker
Lighting Design : Alexander Kampmann
Sound Design : Rob Irvine
Stage Manager : Jack Pattison

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