Following the recent highly successful “Ruby Review” which played to sell out houses at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny city last month the focus now turns seriously to lining up the cast for the Kilkenny Musical Society’s 40th anniversary production of the “Pirates of Penzance” which will be staged in April next year. At a recent Information Night for “Pirates” over 60 past, present and new members attended. There was a hugely positive reaction to the two musical numbers learned on the night and there is no doubt that the quality of music from such a large chorus will be something to look forward to next Spring. On Sunday, December 2 the Society will hold auditions for the principle parts as follows:
Frederic Age 20-30 actually plays a 21 year old tenor. He needs to be a good mover. He is young, manly, genuine and innocent. He is funny because he is so sincerely trying to do the honourable thing. He is energetic & out-going & honest. Rather than being strictly an operatic tenor he must be highly musical like a pop singer. Quality of voice, diction & phrasing and timbre should be natural to the person playing Frederic. He needs to possess unself-conscious sex appeal – after all, the daughters fall for him instantly and sigh over his beauty. He sings more than any other character in the show. Well spoken, precise English accent.
Mabel Age 17-25 or someone who can pass for that age and is compatible on stage with Frederic. A soprano a she is required to be a good mover and light on her feet.
A young daughter of Major General Stanley and is something like a silent movie star. She has little dialogue, but a lot of singing. She needs an out-front, natural expressive voice with excellent diction. She is sweet and innocent and funny because of it but this is not a comedy role. Frederic & Mabel’s genuineness & sincerity are at the centre of the production. Well spoken, precise English accent.
Pirate king Age 30 plus This bass baritone needs to be very athletic and a good mover. He is a whole hearted romantic, a member of the peerage who has gone wrong. He is the King because it is his ship. He & his crew are rather like dogs who like to bark, but are ready to run away if things get serious. His idea of rape is to carry off the daughters to the nearest priest and marry them on the spot! The Pirate King’s quote “What is life without a touch of poetry in it?” is delivered with great feeling and sincerity. He is funny precisely because he means it. He wants to be a pirate to wear his shirt open and to swash-buckle around like Errol Flynn. He would never really hurt anyone, and can’t understand why Frederic wants to leave their romantic life for “respectability”. Well spoken, precise English accent (he is a member of the peerage!
Major General Stanley Age 50 plus - Baritone: Mabel’s father. Like a male Queen Victoria in his sensibilities. He is respectability. A grand out-going music hall tradition works well. He must be vivid, with warmth & good humour (like Santa Claus) and be quirky but believable. Well spoken, “terribly, terribly” upper class English accent.
Ruth Age 30 – 50 actually plays a 47 year old - Contralto: She needs to be a good mover and energetic. Ruth is Frederic’s “nanny” who has raised him to be a proper gentleman. It is from her that he has learnt to be polite, honourable and respectable. The feelings between Ruth & Frederic are deep – almost mother & son. They care for each other profoundly. No doubt Ruth has no more in mind in marrying Frederic than to continue to care for him, and to hug him regularly. Although Ruth is 47, she will not be portrayed as a typical old lady. Ruth comes back in the second act with a lot of spunk as she has gone “pirate”. Therefore she requires a lot of energy to participate in the three trio songs in Act 2 and also in” With Cat like Tread”. The actress needs to appear 47ish, but be capable of great energy of delivery and comic timing. Ruth’s accent can be proper, Cockney, Cornish, Scottish, and Irish – let us see what you can do!
Samuel Age Open - Baritone. The Pirate King’s right hand man. Can either be an older man, who may have taught the King all he knows, or the King’s age, or an upcoming King to be. He has a little dialogue and some solo singing.
Sergeant of police Age Open - Bass: Comic role – leader of a band of scared cats who want to appear brave. He should have considered what was involved before he joined the police force. He also must have done something wrong in his career to get this posting, as the force under his command is quite unusual!! He needs to be a good mover. Common English accent – say like Alfie Doolittle or Frank Spencer
Edith, Kate and Isabel Ages 15-25 - Soprano, mezzo. Need to be able to move well. Mabel’s sisters, each with a unique personality. Big legitimate voices - chest or belt out types. Sassy, vivid characters. Auditions take place in the Kilford Hotel John Street on Sunday, December 2 from 5pm onwards. Further Information from firstname.lastname@example.org or Kilkenny Musical Society Facebook page.