William Shakespeare

Darren Heather

18 - 25 March 2023


Sat 7:45pm, Mon 7:45pm, Tue 7:45pm, Wed 7:45pm, Thu 7:45pm, Fri 7:45pm, Sat 2:45pm, Sat 7:45pm theatre

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Audition Info
Audition Thu 17 November 2022 7:30pm Foyer
Audition Thu 24 November 2022 7:30pm Foyer

"I have no spur to prick the sides of my intent, but only vaulting ambition…"

Rehearsal dates: Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9th January with 2 “Big Sundays” on the 5th and 12th March 2023. Rehearsals in January 2023 in the theatre foyer apart from rehearsals on Monday 30th January, Wednesday 1st and Friday 3rd February where we will be at an alternative venue in Lewes (normally St Michael’s Church Hall)

The setting for the production is what I am referring to “non-specific” minimalistic Mediaeval!! (more explanation nearer the time). I guess the word “traditional” could also be used! Its probably one of Shakespeare’s darkest plays – I only want to make it even darker if possible!

The audition process I will email out audition pieces nearer the time for each role. Auditions will be a combination of monologues and ensemble pieces to provide some alternate emotions motives etc.

It would be extremely useful to know which session you are likely to attend and what you plan to audition for. This will help me structure the auditions.

If you have any questions about the audition process you can email the director, Darren Heather at:

Characters (doubling up options in brackets

Lady Macbeth – 35-50 It’s no accident that the lady is listed here first – I think she is arguably the pivotal role in all of the machinations that unfold. I am adding some context in our prologue and also have some extra roles and lines for the lady. The actor taking this on will need to demonstrate Machiavellian-like scheming, a ruthless determination but also remorse (if debatably self-centred) which ultimately descends into madness and death. The driving force behind the ill-gotten crown and a tour-de-force of a part!

Macbeth – 30-45 An undoubtedly brave, fearless and skilled warrior, he gambles everything to fulfil his own and his wife’s “vaulting ambition” which even he prophesises will “o’er leap itself”. Is he pushed into murdering Duncan or does Lady Macbeth merely “grease the wheels”. The murderous appetite merely gets more insatiable with the eating and death appears to be his only solution for any challenges. Places his faith on the witches pronouncements to the extent that he has delusions on immortality. Has a significant melancholic moment with the “tomorrow and tomorrow” monologue. A great part for showing a full range of human emotions.

Three Witches (double up with Lady McDuff, Nurse, Gentlewoman, Lord, Old Man Etc.) – Various ages (would be good to get an age range) Three “black and midnight hags” who plot mischief against Macbeth using charms, spells, and prophecies. I am not hung up on age or gender here. Their predictions prompt him to murder Duncan, to order the deaths of Banquo and his son, and to blindly believe in his own immortality. I want to explore an undercurrent of sexual tension between at least one of the witches and Macbeth but we can play on this. We will have a trap in the stage which the witches will use occasionally – especially when using their caldron!

Banquo (double up with Seyward, Apparition) – 35-50 The brave, noble general whose children, according to the witches’ prophecy, will inherit the Scottish throne. However, Banquo does not translate any potentially ambitious thoughts into action. It can be argued that Banquo’s character stands as a rebuke to Macbeth, since he represents the path Macbeth chose not to take: a path in which ambition need not lead to betrayal and murder – it is Banquo’s ghost which haunts Macbeth, not Duncan’s. A great part for an actor to explore – just a note that I intend to “empty chair” the scene where Banquo’s ghost appears to Macbeth – I feel this is a more powerful way to explore this scene.

King Duncan (double up with Doctor, Apparition) – 50+ The good King of Scotland whom Macbeth, in his ambition for the crown, murders. Duncan is the model of a virtuous, benevolent, and farsighted ruler. We know this as even Macbeth recognises that he “has been so clear in his great office” His death symbolizes the destruction of an order in Scotland that can be restored only when Duncan’s line, in the person of Malcolm, once more occupies the throne. I plan to sew a seed of tension between Duncan and Lady Macbeth in my prologue!

Macduff (double up with Sergeant, Apparition) – 30+ A Scottish nobleman hostile to Macbeth’s kingship from the start. He eventually joins Malcolm in the crusade to unseat Macbeth and place the rightful king, Malcolm, on the throne. There is a great scene where Macduff is informed of the slaughter of his wife and children which provide a good range for an actor. This also provides the desire vengeance. Great final fight scene with Macbeth!   Lennox (double up as Third Murderer, Apparition) – 25+ Many character notes merely state Lennox as just “a Scottish nobleman” but I want to make more of this character (admittedly inspired by the recent Apple TV version). Lennox will pop up in many scenes (I have reassigned him lines from Ross, Menteth, Angus and Caithness) and act a kind of Machiavellian link between scenes. He pops up in both rival camps and I also have him turning up as a murderer but then aiding Fleance’s escape. A complex character!

Malcolm (double up with Second Murderer) – 18+ The son of Duncan, whose restoration to the throne signals Scotland’s return to order following Macbeth’s reign of terror. Malcolm becomes a serious challenge to Macbeth with Macduff’s aid (and the support of England). Prior to this, he appears weak and uncertain of his own power – I feel this lends itself for a younger actor to explore hence the playing age. This represents a good challenge for a younger actor and the chance to portray the boy becoming the man!

Fleance (double up with Young Seyward, Servant) – 14+ Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. Good opportunity for a very young actor to double this up with Young Seyward and an ultimately unsuccessful fight scene with Macbeth – partially tempted to play Young Seyward AS Fleance – out to avenge his father’s death (for discussion!)

Lady McDuff (double up with a Witch) – 25+ Macduff’s wife. I was considering cutting the scene in her castle but feel this provides our only glimpse of a domestic realm other than that of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. This is a nice cameo with her irritation and McDuff’s exile and the confrontation with her killers. The person who warns her of the impending attack may be a disguised Lady Macbeth!

Ross (double up with Servant, Murderer, Apparition) – 25+ A Scottish nobleman – originally part of Macbeths camp but openly despairs at events post Duncan’s murder. Part can be extended and doubled up with others.

Donalbain (double up with First Murderer, Lord) – 25+ Generally depicted as Malcom’s younger brother I’d like to explore he being older and hence “passed over” in the succession. He does not return from exile in Ireland – a few Lords comment on this – and this leave us to speculate on a future challenge to the crown.

McDuff’s Child (double up with various other parts) – 10-14 Part is written as “Son” but no gender restrictions here for flexibility – a great little part for a very young actor’s introduction to Shakespeare

Lords, Seyton, Servants, Gentlewomen, Doctors etc…. I will look to at ways to share these parts by doubling up. I will assume unless indicated that anyone auditioning is willing the play as cast.