Quinneys Auditions

Preparations for the re-staging of the play Quinneys (first performed on 20th April 1915 at The Haymarket Theatre in London) at the Witham Theatre in Barnard Castle on Saturday 28th March are coming along well – we had some good publicity from The Antiques Trade Gazette (thank you to Frances Allitt) and the bookings are coming in well – don’t forget to book your ticket – you can book via The Witham  HERE or the link via the Year of the Dealer Project website HERE

Poster for Quinneys, Birmingham performance, 1920.

Over the past few weeks George Rodosthenous (who is directing our re-staging of the play Quinneys)  and I have been auditioning some of the students from George’s BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance at the University of Leeds for the acting parts in Quinneys. We think we have just about finished casting the play now, and have some wonderful student actors – all brilliant in fact!  Yesterday we auditioned Annabel Marlow, India Walton, Samuel Parmenter and Fergus Johnston – in the weeks before we’d seen Stephenson Catney, Morgan Buswell and Hannah Rooney (I did a few tweets on the research project Twitter feed, if you want to see them!)

Here’s Fergus, Annabel, India and Samuel, from yesterday, chatting about the play in one of the audition rooms at the University, and with George, ‘directing’ Annabel and India…!

Fergus, Annabel, India and Sammy in the auditions for Quinneys

 

Fergus and Annabel have been cast to play the parts of James (Quinney’s workshop foreman) and Posy (Quinney’s daughter) and did some brilliant improvisation (directed by George!) at the auditions. India and Samuel took the parts of ‘Mable Dredge’ (Quinney’s typist) and Joseph Quinney himself. Here’s Fergus and Annabel and India and Sammy reading for the parts!

Fergus and Annabel, reading for ‘James’ and ‘Posy’.

 

India (Mable) and Samuel (Quinney) in the auditions.

The part of Susan (Quinneys wife) has been won by Hannah, with Morgan playing ‘Sam Tomlin’ (Quinney’s brother-in-law, and also an antique dealer, like Quinney), with Stephenson playing ‘Cyrus P. Hunsaker’ (an American millionaire collector and rival to James for Posy’s affections) – we’re still looking for an actor to play ‘Dupont Jordan’ an American millionaire, but will find someone soon….

George introduced some music into the auditions (he played the piano) and we had Annabel singing ‘I love James’ to the tune of the popular 19th century lullaby, ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’… (great performance!); and India, Fergus and Sammy all made the parts of ‘Mable’, ‘James’ and Quinney’ their own!

We’ve now got to sort out the stage set (using genuine antiques, thanks to The Bowes Museum!), and work up a theatre programme for the performance, and what seems like a million other things to sort out before the performance on 28th March – but George has already started the rehearsals for the play, and we’re very much looking forward to working with everyone on this one – Quinneys is, after all, the centrepiece for the Year of the Dealer project!

Mark

 

 

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