Big News! Casting call for Shirley reading

After our wonderful success with The Dissolution of Percy, at the end of last year, we thought we’d get cracking with a second Brontë-themed piece; this time, a stage adaptation of Charlotte’s Shirley (something we certainly haven’t seen before!) So we’re putting out a casting call! It’s a tricky piece to cast, as you’ll see below.

A public reading of the script will take place on 27th September at 7:00pm (for a 7:30pm start) during Morley Arts Festival between Dewsbury and Leeds (St Mary the Virgin Parish Church – WF12 7JL). Travel expenses will be covered, and unless otherwise requested, cast members will be recalled for any major future production of the piece, for which we would ensure they would be fully paid. We are hoping to cast at least one individual who holds a full licence and owns a car to lessen transport costs. Fuel costs will be reimbursed.

The company will work to accommodate all cast members’ availability regarding the few rehearsals we’ll need. Auditions and rehearsals will be held in Manchester.

Cast (including multi-rolling)

Male 1: Multi-roler, 40s-50s. Must be able to adapt body-language to suit three different characters. Accents: West Yorkshire, subtle RP and comical upper-class.
Roles
Rev Helstone: Caroline’s paternal uncle. Firm and unbending.
Michael Barraclough: A local down-and-out. Struggling to retain his grip on reality. An ex-worker from Hollow’s Mill.
Mr Sympson: Shirley’s uncle and father of her young cousin. Louis’ employer. Outspoken and affluent.

Male 2: Non-multi-roler, 30s. Tall. Must be able to speak with a Belgian accent. Will accept either Belgian actor or English actor with an excellent grasp of the accent.
Role
Robert Moore: A half-English, half-Belgian mill owner. On his last chance to prove himself after the French revolution laid waste to his inherited family business. Works hard to maintain a cold, officious front, but secretly too gentle to be a hard-nosed businessman. In love with Caroline Helstone but afraid that he cannot afford to support a family.

Male 3: Multi-roler. Mid-late 20s. Must be physically and vocally versatile, able to differentiate between two characters both visually and audibly.
Roles
Joe Scott: Hardworking and passionate mill-hand. Once loyal to his master, Robert Moore, but slowly becoming more enamoured with the prospect of a peaceful uprising. Yorkshire accent.
Louis Moore: Robert’s younger brother, raised in England. An undervalued tutor. RP accent. Downtrodden but not without a wickedly dry and charming sense of humour.
Female 1: Non-multi-roler. Early to mid 20s. Small build. RP or subtle Northern accent.
Caroline Helstone: Resourceful and intelligent. Ambitious against the will of her uncle. Repressed. In love with Robert Moore and frustrated by his aloofness. Strong in spirit but not in body.

Female 2: Multi-roler. 40s-50s. Must be highly versatile both physically and in voice as one role must be believed to be a little older than the others. Must be able to speak with Belgian and Yorkshire accents.

Roles

Hortense Moore (early 40s): Robert’s older sister and Caroline Helstone’s governess. Half-English, half-Belgian. A straight-faced, dry sense of humour. Extremely brave, protective and self-sufficient. Belgian accent.

Mrs Pryor (late 40s, early 50s): Shirley’s governess. Quietly spoken and secretive. Capable of a great deal of love that must be suppressed. RP or subtle Yorkshire accent.
Mrs Barraclough (40s): Wife of Michael. Extremely poor but extremely enterprising. Bitter and intelligent. (Can be younger and multi-role with actor playing Shirley.) Yorkshire accent.

 

Please send headshot and CV or Spotlight link to dtkmanchester@gmail.com!

Big News! Casting call for Shirley reading

2015 in review

Tomorrow is New Years’ Eve, and will mark the end of Dangerous To Know’s first full year as a company.

It’s been a blast so far, seeing us launch our first full-length funded production, enjoy five-star reviews and make new and exciting connections that will no doubt blossom further in 2016.

Keep an eye on this site for news of things to come, and, just because we’re sentimental like that, we’ll leave you with our annual blog report.

If you’re interested in working with us next year, just email dtkmanchester@gmail.com and introduce yourself.

Happy New Year!

An excerpt of the report:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 in review

First review is in!

On Wednesday night, Dangerous To Know opened our doors to the public for the first performance in our run of The Dissolution of Percy and, as is always nerve-wracking, we invited press and reviewers to tell us what they thought of our work!

Brontë Sisters

Now Frank Hill, a reviewer for RemoteGoat, has delivered, and we are absolutely thrilled.

Under the heading “Gripping, original Branwell Brontë drama”, he writes:

“There’s a painting of the Brontë sisters, posed woodenly around a small table, with a figure standing behind them smeared out of all recognition. This figure was the artist himself, their brother Branwell, who had defaced his own image in some bout of self-loathing. As a student I was fascinated by this ghost-like image hovering ominously in the background, so was particularly interested to see a new play at The Kings Arms, Salford where Branwell takes centre stage.

I knew Caroline Lamb’s drama (‘The Dissolution of Percy’) was going to be interesting when one of the sister’s asked where her powder was. Instead of entering with objects from her boudoir she came onstage carrying a gun. The material in question was gunpowder. That’s when I realised this was going to be an unusual perspective on the Brontë women and their much-neglected-by-history brother.

The play began at an unusually stable period in Branwell’s life when, thanks to the efforts of his sisters, he had obtained a post as tutor to the Robinson’s family’s son. All seemed well, but it soon became clear that he had not forsaken his spendthrift, drunken ways and stories of his behaviour reached the ears of Mr. Robinson. Although not one to smooth over troubled waters, Branwell managed to retain his position, only to then embark on an affair with the mistress of the house, Lydia.

Branwell was a dreamer, trapped in the fantasies of childhood stories and a great admirer of Lord Byron. But without that poet’s panache and fame, being ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ could be disastrous. Detached from reality, narcissistic, and drawn to alcohol and laudanum, it became the task of his sisters to save Branwell from himself. But had he already reached the point of no return?

The play is about unfulfilled ambition, self denial and desire. It’s well written and tightly structured with fine performances (I’m sure the few occasions when actors spoke over each others lines will soon be ironed out).

Alison Flevill, Marcella Hazell and Caroline Lamb brought Jane (Ed. read “Emily”) , Anne and Charlotte vividly to life and Jane Allighan’s sensitive portrayal of Lydia showed a character desperate to survive in a world where wealth and poverty were frighteningly close neighbours – particularly for women in Victorian England.

Sean Fitton provided solid support with characters ranging from Rev. Brontë to Branwell’s drinking partner John.

But the play stands or falls on the portrayal of Branwell himself, and Sam Redway gave a riveting performance as the vulnerable, selfish, frustrating artist. To give just one example of his skill – I have seen some terrible interpretations of drunkenness on stage – by some renowned actors. It’s extremely difficult to do well and Sam managed to pitch it perfectly, getting the nuances just right. A great performance throughout, and director Helen Parry must take credit for that.

An unusual subject then, focussing on characters usually ignored by history and thereby also creating a new perspective on the famous sisters themselves. Excellent.”

Thank you, Frank! It’s wonderful to get this type of feedback for an inaugural production. We hope our work continues to impress for the rest of the run, and for the play’s future life!

If you would like tickets to the production, we highly recommend booking in advance via the link below.

BOOK NOW!

First review is in!

Opening Night!

The Dissolution of Percy opens TONIGHT at 7:30 at  the Kings Arms in Salford, M3 6AN.

Come along and see the wonderful work we have done! The rehearsal process has been both a labour of love and a real hardy slog for every member of the company.

Book your tickets in advance to save time at the box office and to ensure that you get a seat! Below is the direct link for THIS EVENING ONLY:

Book Here!

And now, introducing the cast (in order of appearance):

Jane Allighan as Lydia

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Seán Fitton as George, John and Patrick

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Alison Flevill as Anne and Drake

Headshot

Sam Redway as Branwell

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Marcy Hazell as Charlotte and Leyland

Marcy For Web (8 of 10) copy

Caroline Lamb as Emily

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And here we are talking about the production on the radio! Our little segment is just after 34 minutes in:

Dangerous To Know: The Dissolution of Percy on All About Art

We have thoroughly enjoyed working together to bring you something we are truly proud of. We look forward to welcoming you into our audience!

See you soon x

Opening Night!