If you would like to direct at the Wharf and have some experience either as a director or actor, please get in touch with the theatre - we would love to hear from you.
Glorious! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins | The Worst Singer in the World by Peter Quilter
Directed by Liz Sharman
Playing dates • Mon 11 - Sat 16 May 2020
Auditions Tuesday 4 February | 7pm Wharf Theatre
Set in 1940s New York, this hilarious farce is based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins. Dubbed ‘the worst singer in the world’, Florence nevertheless had thousands of adoring fans who attended her concerts and bought her recordings. This play, which enjoyed a run in the West End with Maureen Lipman, takes a distinctly more farcical approach to its subject matter than the recent film which starred Meryl Streep.
CHARACTERS (IN ORDER OF PROMINENCE)
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (F 40s-70s): dotty, delusional, yet totally loveable New York socialite, past her prime and lacking all musical ability, but who remains convinced she is an operatic diva. In the play, Florence is required to sing three operatic arias in varying degrees of awfulness and outlandish costumes:
- Adele’s Laughing Song from Die Fledermaus - in English
- Habanera (L’amour est un oiseau ribelle) from Carmen - in French if possible, or a rough approximation of French!
- The Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute (Der Holle Rache) - (ditto German!)
Both singers and non-singers are welcome to audition for the role of Florence, but a familiarity with the above pieces will obviously be necessary to play the part. The audition will involve performing Adele’s Laughing Song (badly).
COSME McMOON (M 20s-40s): Florence’s long-suffering piano accompanist (American), who is at first horrified by her lack of ability, but soon grows to love her. Gentle-natured and witty, it is apparent to all but Florence that Cosme is gay. NB no actual piano ability required – Cosme will mime all of his piano-playing behind a grand piano, to a recorded track.
DOROTHY (F 40s-70s): Florence’s best friend (American) – even more bonkers than she is. Dorothy idolises Florence and is her right-hand woman, dressmaker and prop maker. She is also devoted to her dog, Ricky, who features in some notable gags in the play.
ST CLAIR BAYFIELD (M 50s-70s): Florence’s devoted partner – an old-school British actor (resting). St Clair is either oblivious to Florence’s shortcomings or refuses steadfastly to recognise them.
MARIA (F any age): Florence’s Mexican maid, who has a chip on her shoulder and speaks entirely in Spanish. Maria doesn’t have a great many lines, but her deadpan contempt for her job and her employers could make her a scene-stealer. A familiarity with Spanish pronunciation at least would be an advantage!
MRS JOHNSON (F any age): the party-pooper who stands up and denounces Florence and her lack of ability during a public recital (could be doubled with Maria if necessary)
Scripts are currently available and can be picked up from the theatre before Christmas. Please register your interest first with Liz on email@example.com (particularly for the part of Florence). We can then arrange a convenient date in January for a readthrough and a closer look at the musical requirements.