Our first production of 2020 is Abandonment by Kate Atkinson and the read through is Thurs 7th Nov at 7pm in the upstairs rehearsal room; casting evening is Tue 19th Nov (originally Tues 12th), 7.30.
There are 12 characters in the play, played by 7 actors. 5 of the actors play both a modern day and a Victorian character. The dialogue is extremely witty but also thought provoking: Atkinson weaves history and philosophy throughout but always lights on the human consequences – the family ‘banter’ is superb. Ages are stated in the play for the 3 modern women, but I am more interested in the chemistry between the characters than precise age ‘fits’, so do please come along!
AGNES (anywhere between 30 and early 40s)
Victorian governess – travelled the world with her father. Mother was Portuguese. Clever, knowledgeable, condemned by the loss of her parents to “an unnecessarily unfortunate life” with a predatory master and a cruel mistress
ELIZABETH (age 41)
Modern day historian, recently divorced, a foundling in search of her real mother and true love. Love/hate relationship with adoptive sister Kitty. Has bought part of a Victorian mansion to start afresh but is continuously visited by the rest of the characters!
Elizabeth’s gay best friend. A cell biologist, highly intelligent, loves her science! Wants a baby with her partner before it’s too late. Disliked by Kitty and, miaow, does it show!
The Victorian maid. Engaging, downtrodden, displays the mores and superstitions of her class/the era. Like the rest of the staff, is a victim of the master’s insatiable appetites!
KITTY/LAETITIA (age 42)
Elizabeth’s acerbic adoptive sister, who loves but is jealous of her. Journalist, spinster, compulsively promiscuous. Attempted suicide as a teen. Constantly in witty argumentative mode when in company. The jokes paper over the insecurity.
Merric’s embittered and resentful wife. Aware of his affairs & unremittingly unkind to his victims, the staff. Grieving the loss of a son, she seeks the help of Rev Scobie to contact the spirit world.
CALLUM/REV SCOBIE (30+ ?)
Builder, into “Other world stuff” Naive, likeable, father to a young son, he falls prey to Kitty while trying to restore the Victorian flat. Espouses shamanism, paganism & any other remotely interesting ism.
Man of God, believes he can contact the dead child and is rejected by Laetitia when he fails. The opposing viewpoint to Merric’s evolutionist beliefs.
Widow, Mother to the sisters, she provides much of the comedy, with her old-fashioned views and misconceptions about modern life. Very non p.c! A loving mother with a tragic past she prefers not to accept, being of a certain generation.
Merric’s mother. Widow of a sea captain, with whom she eloped. A true romantic, treated with contempt by her daughter in law.
ALEC/MERRIC (40+ ?)
Photographer sent round by Kitty to photo Elizabeth for the press piece designed to find her mother. All love at 1st sight but really a commitment phobic, selfish and easily bored.
Victorian gentleman lawyer. An evolutionist who enjoys photographing, and other activities, with the servants! Reliant on his wife’s wealth, a philandering cad who seduces Agnes having been entertained by her superior intellect.