-AUDITION NOTICE

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Actors are invited to audition on July 6th for a role in St Jude’s Players’ August 2025 production, NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH, revised edition, by Lally Katz.    Directed by Lesley Reed.

Synopsis:
Set in Australia in 2007-2008 and also in the remembered past in war-torn Hungary, Neighbourhood Watch is a poignant, often funny drama and memory play. Mary Street is in a typical Australian neighbourhood. Most people are not much more than nodding acquaintances with neighbours. Here lives 80-year-old Hungarian-Australian widow Ana, whose bark is not unlike that of her apparently aggressive dog, Bella. Ana is a deeply war-affected refugee who is often lost in memories of her past life. She is generally perceived by neighbours as a little nosy and pushy. Scenes move from the present to the past and back again in often dreamlike fashion as Ana befriends neighbour Catherine, a young out-of-work actor who is also haunted by the past. So begins a tender, mutual dependence from which life lessons come for both women. Spiced with humour, neighbours and Bella’s bark, this is a beautiful and unforgettable play.

CAST NUMBERS FOR THIS PRODUCTION– 4 Females, 4 Males, 1 singer/musician.
Characters– 28, some in a shadowy past.
Stage ages listed: actors older or younger are welcome to try for roles if can perform the stage age required. Most actors for characters named also act as nonverbal people in street, on tram, cinema ticket queue etc. (Ana and Catherine only exceptions).
Accents involved: some actors will play Hungarian characters, with the Martin actor also playing a Russian character in the Hungarian scenes. One female character on Mary Street is Serbian (Jovanka). Accents will not yet be a particular focus, ie at audition. Try your best.

ROLES AVAILABLE

Note: *Some original character names changed by playwright in revised edition.

FEMALE

Catherinemid to late 20s. Major role. Out of work, possibly anorexic actor. Hopes better times are on their way. Shares a house on Mary Street with Ken. Emotionally a little fragile and has an underlying deep sadness. Ana befriends her. Actor also to play Young Ana.

Jovanka (*Formerly Milova)-late 70s. Strong role. Serbian neighbour of Ana’s on Mary Street. Constantly tries to befriend Ana who is suspicious and dismissive of her. Jovanka is harmless though and clearly lonely. Moves in a laboured way. Much of her characterisation is in her physicality, rather than her words. Actor also to play doctor’s receptionist, Nancy and Ana’s mother.

MALE

Ken Late
20s-early 30s
. Excellent role. Catherine’s housemate who wants to be more than that to her. Caring and health conscious, especially due to his own diabetes. Worries about Catherine’s eating habits. A writer but spends a lot of time in computer games. He is obsessed with World of Warcraft. Actor also to play soldier in infirmary.

Martin Late
20s-late 30s
. Strong role. Catherine’s former boyfriend. She can’t move on from him. Only later in the play do we discover the truth of why they are no longer together. Actor also to play a Russian soldier and male ambulance officer.

Chemist/Arturmid 20s-40.
Both strong roles. Chemist is local to Mary Street. Catherine catches his eye.  Artur is Ana’s mother’s godson from Ana’s Hungarian childhood. Dangerous and deceptive man. Actor also to play soldier’s father.

Injured Soldier/policeman
early 20s. Soldier is strong, poignant role. Young Ana’s first love during the war. Returns to her a tragic figure with shattered legs. Feels Young Ana will not love him now because of his injuries. Policeman is a great role. Runs a Neighbourhood Watch meeting at which Ana is
intrusively outspoken.  Actor also to play postman and various delivery people.

ROLES ALREADY CAST

Ana-aged 80

The major role. Ana is a Hungarian refugee living in Australia. She is impacted by her difficult past life in war-torn Hungary as well as childhood trauma that has left her wary of strangers. She is brusque and frank to the point of bluntness yet has a sweet innocence that often makes her very funny and endearing. Her heart, if people meet her halfway, is warm and tender.

Katrina
-middle-aged (*Formerly Christina)

Strong role. Very private, security-conscious neighbour with health issues, who resists Ana’s approaches but eventually needs her. This actor also to play woman with dog, Ana’s Doctor, Mean girl, woman at cinema, female ambulance officer, Ana’s sister.

Gypsy/violinistFeatured during play. Sings/plays violin.

2025 PRODUCTION DATES

Wed 6 (preview), Thurs 7&14, Fri 8 &15, August 7.30 pm, Sat 9 & Sat 16 August, 2pm.

Rehearsals Tuesday & Thursday evenings & Sunday afternoons, beginning either mid-May or early June 2025.Rehearsal times TBC.

2024 AUDITION DATE -registration required.

Saturday, July 6, 2024, all auditionees at 1.30 pm. Group audition – no individual times.

 AUDITION CONTACT/REGISTRATION
Attendees must register before audition day with Director, Lesley Reed by emailing lesleystage@hotmail.com
Please also include mobile details as well as which role(s) auditioning for.

After registration, audition material for moved readings will be provided. No need to memorise.

AUDITION AND PRODUCTION VENUE

St Jude’s Hall (Grundy Hall), 444 Brighton Road, Brighton, SA.

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