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Searching for actors to tell 750-year-old story

Auditions for actors to take part in a production to mark the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Lewes in 1264 will take place next month.

The Day of the Battle, a mystery-style play, is Lewes Theatre Club’s contribution to the commemorations.

The auditions will be held on April 12 (10.30am) in the foyer of Lewes Little Theatre, Lancaster Street, and conducted by the writer of the piece, Mike Turner.

His play will be performed out of doors at three locations in the county town on May 17.

There are 10 male roles (all ages) and three female roles. Leading roles call for a shepherd, a shepherd’s daughter, a squire, a miller and a pilgrim. The play is short – about 25 minutes – and the script is in rhyming couplets.

Other parts with fewer than 50 lines call for Simon de Montfort, a prior, sentry, Prince Edward, miller’s wife, alewife, blacksmith, Gilbert de Clare, the King of the Romans and a rebel soldier.

It is an ensemble piece and all will be involved in acting and scene shifting. Rehearsals will be held on Saturday mornings and there will be just four – on April 19 and 26, and May 3 and 10.

Writer Mike will be producer on The Day of the Battle and it will be directed by Kate Turvey. She is a recently retired teacher and has directed many plays including Romeo and Juliet and The Importance of Being Earnest.

Copies of the script before auditioning can be requested by emailing michealturner@btinternet.com and the director can be contacted at kateturvey@hotmail.com

Hopefuls are asked to prepare a piece from the play to read and any other piece of their choice to display their acting skills. Email either of the above to indicate which parts you would like to audition for.

The production team is also looking for a stage manager – let them know if you are interested or simply turn up on April 12.

Mystery plays and miracle plays are among the earliest formally developed plays in medieval Europe. Medieval mystery plays focused on the representation of Bible stories in churches as tableaux with accompanying antiphonal song. They developed from the 10th to the 16th century.

Elsewhere, it’s now week five in artist Peter Cole’s strip cartoon series telling the story of the battle (below left).

The complete set of pictures entitled Battle of Lewes ‘Showdown at the Windmill’ will be available in booklet form and in colour later this year.

 

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