Who's in the House?
With auditions on the horizon, here's a taste of the poor souls facing the opressive air of Hill House.
If one of these roles catches your eye and you would like to show us how brilliant you would be in the role, the auditions are...
Monday 2nd September, 7:30pm at Centre Stage Barnstaple.
Eleanor Vance (Age 25 – 35)
The production’s protagonist has spent most of her sheltered life caring for her demanding invalid mother, which has given her innocence about the world around her. She is a plain looking, shy, fragile and vulnerable girl who is searching for her place, an identity and perhaps a ‘home’. There is a suggested and implied childhood trauma in her history which has clearly shaped her into the repressed person she is today. Perhaps she did away with mother during a low or weak moment after so many years of caring for her?
For the duration of the play the audience watches Eleanor’s psychological unravelling as she experiences plenty of ghostly phenomena, living in the cold and isolating world of Hill House. But the question we find ourselves asking is ‘is it the haunted house itself or her haunted mind of imagination that is the cause of all the happenings?’
Dr. John Montague (Age 45 – 60)
As an investigator of the supernatural, Dr. Montague rents Hill House for the summer and has invited a select group of guests. He has chosen people because of their experiences with paranormal events in the hope of finding scientific evidence of the existence of the supernatural. To the younger characters he acts as a teacher/father figure educating them on suicide, family sorrow and violent death, all part of Hill House’s colourful and gruesome past.
A roly-poly man with glasses and a beard, he is clearly an intelligent man, an academic, mad professor type with not much of a sense of humour and with focus just to the task at hand. The ghostly ‘happenings’ that he experiences at Hill House although perhaps expected, leave him wrestling with himself over their explanation and asking what on earth is going on here?
Theodora “Theo” Crain (Age 25 - 35)
A flamboyant, exotic looking bohemian artist type and modern woman of the age, Eleanor’s peer in age but in reality they could not be more different from each other. From the start, worldly Theodora takes Eleanor under her wing, like a sister and begins to form a friendship, educating and encouraging her in the ways of the world she has been sheltered from.
As the play progresses, this new friendship is put to the test as Eleanor starts to unravel before her eyes and leaves a normally strong Theodora questioning her own resilience to the horrors of Hill House and asking herself perhaps she shouldn’t get too close?
Luke Sanderson (Age 20 – 30)
This is Luke’s first visit to Hill House and is the heir to this isolated mansion once his aunt passes away. A dashing and charming young man, not particularly bright but otherwise happy and enjoys being part of the group. Like many men of the time, he has never had a job and lives off his annual family allowance.
Mrs. Dudley (Age 50 – 65)
As housekeeper, blunt and single-minded Mrs Dudley appears into the room as if from nowhere, from the shadows of Hill House like a po-faced Queen Victoria dressed in her usual black and grey. Looking like she’s been transported from the Victorian age or perhaps she has actually always been there since the 1800’s, a sinister character she refuses to stay near the house at night, but perhaps that’s because she knows more about the Hill House than she lets on.
Madame Nora Blackwood (Age 45-60)
A bossy domineering and arrogant professional Medium, who arrives midway through the stay at Hill House, along with companion Arthur to help investigate. Clearly not scared of much when it comes to the paranormal and her idea is to immerse herself into the ghostly investigations by sleeping in the most haunted room and holding séances and spirit writings.
Madame Blackwood's haughtiness and self-importance provide a source of comic relief to the group. Think Margaret Rutherford in Blythe Spirit.
Arthur Parker (Age 40-50)
Madame Blackwood’s companion and the headmaster of a boys’ school arrives midway through the play to help investigate. His relationship with Madame Blackwood is not explained and is open to interpretation but one thing is clear, he is certainly not the one wearing the trousers.
Thinking that his weekend in the country was going to involve him playing golf he just does what he’s told. If necessary this character could be omitted completely.