Woman in Mind

Woman in Mind

Alan Ayckbourn

Tony Bannister

13 - 20 May 2017


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

Audition Info
Audition Sat 12 November 2016 10:00am Foyer

Alan Ayckbourn’s Woman In Mind is a play I have always wanted to direct. Premiered in 1985, it is arguably Ayckbourn’s most profound and introspective play. After over thirty years it is still considered by many to be his finest. Susan has collapsed into mental breakdown after years of what she has perceived as emotional neglect by her husband, their only son, and her patronising and frustrated sister-in-law.

She has retreated into an imaginary world with a family who are beautiful, attentive and loving, and where her small, colourless garden has become expansive and idyllic.

We observe Susan’s world from her own perspective, as she dulls the pain of reality by living and loving with her imaginary family. Gradually, however, they begin to take control, and reality and fantasy become one. But, is Susan really the victim she appears to be, or has she been the architect of her own fall......? Like every Ayckbourn play, the key to effective characterisation, and thus successful performance, lies in the text. All performers must commit to learning and delivering the text with precision and understanding. We will focus in rehearsal on finding the clues and opportunities the text gives us, and discovering how best we can develop and use those opportunities.

All this will be delivered in a setting in which Susan’s world will be portrayed by means of images and colours that shift and alter as her ability to perceive reality and fantasy changes.

Every role is fascinating and rewarding.

For a script and a list of the audition pieces, or to discuss the production, please call me (Tony Bannister) on 07963 941001.


Susan (50s) A woman with a clear sense of her own values, but who has failed systematically to communicate effectively with her family to the point of mental breakdown. On stage throughout. A major role for an experienced actor.

Gerald (50s) Susan’s husband. A vicar of a small parish, preoccupied with writing a book about its history. Precise and literal. Initially presents as parsimonious and unlikeable, but we begin to see a little more warmth than we are at first inclined to credit to him.

Muriel (50s) Gerald’s sister. A widow, self centred and obsessed with what life has denied her.

Rick (mid 20s) Susan and Gerald’s son. Seemingly unconcerned with possessions. Has been living in an enclosed commune. When growing up, he found relating to his parents a challenge. In a fascinating scene with Susan we get a glimpse of the likely reason......

Andy (40s) Susan’s imaginary husband. Good looking, athletic, somewhat younger that Susan. Devoted and attentive.

Tony (30s/40) Susan’s imaginary younger brother. Good looking, sporty, rather mischievous. Devoted to Susan.

Lucy (late teens-early 20s) Susan’s imaginary daughter with Andy. Intelligent, lively, beautiful. Idolises Susan and shares everything with her.

Bill Windsor (40s/early 50s) Susan’s GP. He does his best to help but is his ability to do so hampered by his own feelings and emotions?