AUDITION INFORMATION FOR PARTS Available in
Few spectacles are more painful for an audience than a stand-up comic who is desperate to elicit a laugh. "Wits End" tackles that powerful theme, and insists that you experience the pain again and again, as a succession of stand-up comics perform their routines. Almost all of these comedians aren't especially original - delivering mundane and at times highly offensive material. As a result, this production will be asking you to consider coldly what you might normally laugh at and why. The play will hold a mirror up to theatregoers and ask them to confront what lies therein. Intelligent, daring and inspired, it nevertheless tackles a still-prevalent culture in which bigotry and ignorance demonstrate man's petty inhumanity to man. Here the protagonists include two women and five men, and all form a group of people with big-time dreams.
Act 1 consists of seven short dramas, each of which shows the leads in their respective non-performance lives to give some insight into the person away from the microphone.
Act 2 lets the participants test their chops in the seedy comedy club “Jokers Wild”.
Wits End offers a line-up of characters that both exploit and question the usual stereotypes: the old-school traditional comedian, the bouncy Glaswegian male, the ambitious Jewish man, a young woman comedienne, an Irish comic who is fonder of the bar than the stage, an ageing actress/singer on the verge of her performance sell-by date - and the antagonistic, pioneering Conrad Dyce who takes the highly unconventional route of making everyone as uncomfortable as humanly possible. The script explicitly issues dialogue that veers dramatically between the groaningly conventional and the truly provocative.
Wits End strives to transcend the very thing it condemns: trading in types who lose their individuality, with excessive heartiness hinting at real despair. The production will also dare to ask the ultimate question of whether comedy can elevate from mere humour to rivetting drama when discussing almost unspeakable human horror. Conrad Dyce, probably the smartest guy there, provides sublime and brilliant skills with a nihilistic approach that seeks to deny the audience any comfort from his material. The central thrust of the play is the conflict between feeling safe to laugh or inhibited by shame in doing so. Dyce is a dark force, with immensely shocking and destructive power. These debates about the nature and purpose of comedy might seem abstract, but the play develops with a very real sense of the details of pre-political correctness comedy, an era where stand-up meant acts like Bernard Manning or Roy Chubby Brown and where black men's penises, frigid wives and stupid Irishmen were comic gold. The actual stand-up comedy routines vary in quality and offensiveness (and some are very offensive indeed), however the mechanisms of comedy will show that even the bad comics are real people. Moreover, Dyce’s routine will be astonishing in any terms.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
* Casting is currently under consideration for this role
* Babs Wilson Comedienne, Female aged over 25+
* Daniela Balan Comedienne, Female aged 20+
Manny Goldberg Jewish Comedian, Male stocky build, convincingly portraying man of Jewish persuasion, wears bowtie/tux, jewellery etc
* Maisie Morgan Alcoholic Actress/Singer
* Jack Paterson Glasgow working-class style Comedian
* Dan Cornell Irish Comedian
* John Mann aka Conrad Dyce Unconventional Comedian
Dave Barber Jokers Wild Comedy Club Male MC
Geraldine McNeill, Social worker, Female, aged 30+
Andy Barman, Male, aged 20+
Katie Bohemian, intelligent Female, aged 18+
Bradford Geeky, intelligent, aspiring actor, Male, aged 18+
Lisa Slim, shy, intelligent but emotionally naïve. In love with Jack. Female aged 18+
EXTRAS (No Dialogue)
Sheena Woman seated at a table with her date. Female aged 25+
Man Sheena’s date. Male aged 25+
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