Entertaining Angels by Richard Everett
“I’ve poured two hundred thousand cups of tea, made four thousand six hundred medium-sized quiches and personally baked two tons of light crust pastry. And for what?’
As a clergy wife Grace has spent a lifetime on her best behaviour. Now, following the death of her husband Bardolph, she is enjoying the new-found freedom of being able to do and say exactly as she pleases. But the return of her eccentric missionary sister, Ruth, together with some disturbing revelations, forces Grace to confront the truth of her marriage. At the same time, Sarah reveals some un-clergy-like credentials of her own to Grace’s therapist daughter Jo.
Entertaining Angels asks whether God can be trusted to do anything right at all, “Or is the whole thing a divine exercise in trial and error?”
Set in a classic English vicarage garden complete with a grass-banked stream and willow, the play is filled with sharp-edged comedy and probing wit.
Cast – 4 Women 1 Man
Grace – Late 50s to 60s (will consider ageing up but not considerably)
Grace is sharp tongued and quick-witted which is used throughout the play to hide the general feeling of her being lost since the death of her husband, Bardolph. She has an energetic ageless quality about her that, despite her rudeness, should endear her to the audience. Required to move from funny to dramatic and back in quick succession There is nothing OAP about this woman
Ruth (Grace’s Sister) – early 60s. (will consider ageing up but not considerably)
Like her sister, Ruth is an energetic woman who is all business. She feels better when busy and this rubs Grace up the wrong way regularly. She is the typical older sister and holds a slight grudge against her more freely outspoken sister. She is a missionary and a careworn character but not dowdy.
Jo (Grace’s Daughter) – Late 20s – early 30s
Like her mother and aunt, Jo has an ageless youthful quality to her. She seems to have never-ending patience, and she needs it. Recovering from the painful end to her marriage via her husband’s infidelity she is a very supportive character but not afraid to point out to her mother when she is in the wrong. She has inherited her mother’s quick wit.
Sarah (The new vicar) – Early to Mid 30s
A strong-willed, energetic woman vicar for the modern world. All jeans, knee length boots and Bluetooth headsets. She is seen by Grace as a polar opposite to the traditional vicars she is used to and therefore the relationship is strained. She is open and the audience should warm to her especially as they realise she is not sure she is really cut out to be a vicar.
Bardolph (Grace’s husband) – Late 50s to 60s (will consider ageing up but not considerably)
Bardy is a mild-mannered, relaxed individual; every inch a small village vicar. He is genuinely a kindly, friendly man whose gentle good humour is an even balance to his outspoken wife. It’s a pity he’s dead. He is not dithering or silly like 1970’s TV vicars etc but just a genuinely charming man who the audience should immediately like. He is however not backwards at laying things out straight to Grace.
Workshops and auditions
Workshops – 26th/28th March – This will involve a description of the show and some information about the characters as well as a chance to read through the play. Everyone is encouraged to read in but no one will be forced. Audition pieces will be given out at these workshops. We cant really give them out in advance as everyone should be given an equal amount of time to look at them before the auditions.
Auditions – 2nd April – The female characters will read against each other and we may well ask you to mix and match with other auditionees depending on numbers etc
Rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Attendance requirements – As this is a small cast, it is important that people attend, but we will arrange around holidays etc. If anyone has involvement in other productions etc, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss attendance options but this has to be on a give-and-take basis. With a small cast, we cant afford one member to be missing for 50% of rehearsals for a few months while they attend other rehearsals. However, we will always be as flexible as we can, but that works both ways.