Tel: 01424 842191

You are invited to an evening of Familiarisation Monday 5th January
When The Team; Margaret Amey, Writer/Director and
Duncan Reid our Musical Director and Ray de Lucia our Chorus Master,
will be on-hand to take you through the show, the plot and the music.
You are invited to Help Nights on 6th or 12th January When The Team will go through the audition pieces in readiness for Auditions 13th and 20th January All start at 7.30pm

Please Click Here to Download the Libretto Audition Information

Please Click Here to Download the Application Form

Please Click Here to Download the Audition Music...this is a large file so please take your time to download.

Audition Pieces, please bear in mind when watching libretto and music auditions the panel will be observing your reactions to other characters and please keep acting when you are not speaking.
In order that we are not there all night we may not ask you to sing all the verses at audition and you may not do all the libretto if there several performers going for the same part.
This show is still a ‘work in progress’ and things will change. The cast will be very much involvedin creating the final show. Great ideas always welcome! The songs are available now, the libretto will be available to download from the website later-when it’s ready.

An application form is available for Audition if you would like to commit yourself already. This would really help us know who and how many people are going for each part. Also, if you would be able to commit to coming to the Familiarisation Night then we can start to plan the evening-and the refreshments. Please email your form and intentions to the email address.

There is no ‘right’ way to play any of these parts. I have given my ideas but if you present us with a character we like better or you just perform brilliantly I think we can work on it together that is as ‘right’ as anything else.


The Outline of the Plot
Buxton or Bust is set back stage in a village hall in Sussex. The company is run by Lord Simon of Ruddigore and they are rehearsing for an on-stage production of Pirates of Penzance. As the operetta opens Lord Simon is being interrogated by an amorous Health and Safety Inspector who threatens to close the theatre if certain regulations are not fulfilled. As Lord Simon considers the H&S requirements the Chorus of Ghosts of Performances Past make an appearance and threaten to haunt him until his death if he causes the theatre to be closed. The plot is very Gilbertian involving long-lost loves, misunderstandings, ghosts; including a deceased parrot and some fabulous Gilbert and Sullivan music. Come along to the Familiarisation to hear all about it.


The Chorus
The Chorus is central to the show, they carry the plot forward and there are opportunities for solos to sing and lines to say, if you wish. Other than the two on-stage songs, Climbing Over Rocky Mountains and Catlike Tread, The Chorus sings everything together, in harmony. The Chorus of Ghosts of Performances Past requires everyone to dress-up as different characters representing all Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas. The chorus also appear as performers from Pirates of Penzance and villagers, so there are costume changes and lots of opportunities to create characters. You will also sing some of the best chorus music in the G&S repertoire.
Some members of the chorus will have named parts to play, see the characters at the end of the list but everyone will be a character in the different scenes in the show.

For the audition please prepare either Climbing Over Rocky Mountains for ladies, or Catlike Tread for gentlemen.
One of the lady’s chorus will sing Edith’s line from When The Foeman IF Zara gets to sing the part of The Sergeant. I hope that’s not too confusing! See Zara’s character.


Lady Joan Von Sanguazure Mezzo 
Confident, middle aged woman. Strephon’s mother, Zara’s aunt. Once a great beauty now older but she still dresses and bears herself well, Joan occasionally slips back into her yokel accent. Jane Rackstraw, as she had been and (Lord) Simon had fallen in love in their youth whilst performing The Gondoliers. They had been due to marry but on the morning of the wedding Simon’s Grandparents (now ghosts) lied and the couple parted. Joan then married the wealthy Baron Von Sanguazure. Now a widow she is still in love with Lord Simon with whom she sings There Grew A Little Flower from Ruddigore.

For the audition Lady Joan sings Sad Is That Woman’s Lot

Lord Simon of Ruddigore baritone/tenor

Nice man but a bit indecisive, upper crust and wants to please everyone. Was in Love with Lady Joan when they were young and finds he is in love with her still. Rose Maybud is his daughter. Lord Simon is upset at the thought of loosing the theatre or having to live with the Ghosts of Performances Past forever. He is happy to flirt with Katya to get the H&S certificate for his show but to be honest, she scares him witless. The sort of man everyone would like as an uncle. Has some great songs to sing, including the Nightmare Song from Iolanthe.

For the audition Lord Simon sings Love Unrequited; The Nightmare Song

Character Sam Ghost and Sam Parrot   
Sam Ghost and Sam Parrot are one of the same and always together. This character can be male or female. Sam needs to learn to be a good puppeteer. Though ghosts, they take part in most of the chorus numbers. However no one can see them and in songs and dances they are ignored and sing to each other. Sam and Parrot constantly exchange looks, listen in and sit at the side of the stage watching. The Parrot cannot talk, he makes meaningful sounds but he can sing! The two know everything but as ghosts they can only speak to Lord Simon and eventually sing to Katya. When comic touch makes it possible, the parrot may sit on another character’s shoulder and interact with Sam (not referred to by the other character unless very occasionally as a confused glance). Appears to Lord Simon and Lady Joan through the ‘reveal’. It is more important that this performer is a good puppeteer than a great singer.

Sam Parrot sings Tit Willow from The Mikado.

Character Katya Durasova alto   

An Eastern European lady, of any age. Katya is a Health and Safety officer who is desperate for Lord Simon to accept her offer of help to pass the HEALTH AND SAFETY inspection in exchange for marrying her. Base this lady on your best Katisha (she sings Katasha’s line in the finale act1 Mikado). She is feisty and a bit scary and a great character role.

For the audition Katya and Wilf Sing There is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast from The Mikado

Characters Lord Reggie baritone and Lady Amarylis soprano or mezzo 

Two character parts for older performers. Lord Simon’s Grandparents. Any age from mid 50s. Now ghosts. They are the leaders of the Ghosts of Performances Past. When they were alive they tricked their grandson, Lord Simon, into stopping his marriage to Lady Joan on the day of the wedding because they were concerned about what the neighbours would say! Now they wonder if they were wrong. Leaders of the ghosts who haunt Lord Simon to ensure he keeps the theatre open-at all costs. Lord Reggie and Lady Amarylis sit in an elevated position on the stage and occasionally go to sleep when they should not hear what’s going on. These two are rather flirtatious with each other and quite lively.
Lord Reggie has solos to sing.
Lady Amarylis is mostly a speaking part but, along with Lord Reggie she will be on stage a lot and joining in nearly all the chorus numbers. From their vantage points on stage they will often be leading the singing.

For the audition Lord Reggie sings When the Night Wind Howls from Ruddigore

For the audition Lady Amarylis please sing the chorus Climbing Over Rocky Mountains from Pirates of Penzance

Character Wilf The Caretaker Baritone

A good character part, an older/middle-aged gentleman, who, when younger used to take principal roles in the society but who, having fallen on hard times is now the theatre’s Caretaker and one of the Lord’s ‘Old Retainers’. He loves the theatre and is a great supporter of Lord Simon. A kindly man whose one downfall is a ‘feisty’ girl-of any age, hence his soft spot for the rather unpleasant Rose Maybud and Katya. Wilf gets to sing some wonderful songs including Time Was from Sorcerer and is the focus for Rose Maybud’s song Were I Thy Bride.

For the audition Katya and Wilf Sing There is Beauty in the Bellow of the Blast from The Mikado

Character Strephon von Sanguazure tenor(ish)

Son of Lady Joan and Zara’s cousin, local Member of Parliament for the UKIP party (or the coalition?) Is in love (though heaven knows why) with ROSE MAYBUD and has been since they were babies together at the Sewell and Cross Nursery. Too in awe of her to tell her he loves her, Strephon has joined Rose Maybud’s horrid scheme to close the theatre in order to be near her. A kind character, Hugh Grantish?.

For the audition Strephon sings If You Go In (Faint Heart never Won Fair Lady) from Iolanthe with Florian (Rose Maybud will also sing this but not for audition).

Character Florian/Pirate King Baritone  

Florian is a Property Developer who is helping ROSE MAYBUD and Strephon to close the theatre. A bit full of himself.  You would like to dislike him, but you can’t. As part of the plan to destroy the company he landed the part of The Pirate King and is now slowly ruining it. In it originally for the money Florian has fallen for his leading lady, Edith/Zara and wishes he could show her how well he can sing and act in order to win her heart. He has actually found he likes performing.

For the audition Florian sings If You Go In (Faint Heart never Won Fair Lady) from Iolanthe with Strephon (Rose Maybud will also sing this but not for audition).


Character Rose Maybud soprano/mezzo soprano      

Known as Bud or RMB or ROSE MAYBUD. Not Sweet Rose Maybud as her name-sake in Ruddigore is called. Rose Maybud, daughter of Lord Simon has recently returned from boarding school; Adamant College, where she took a course in Making Money. She does not believe in love. Is trying to close down the theatre a) to get the money b) she does not like the theatre people and they don’t like her. Is oblivious to Strephon, whom she may, eventually, remember from nursery(?). The chance for a young woman to play a most unpleasant character. What fun. She has some brilliant songs to sing with buckets of character such as  Were I thy Bride. From Yeomen of The Guard ROSE MAYBUD and with Zara she sings Long Years Ago from Patience

For the audition If You Give Me Your Attention - King Gama’s song from Princess Ida, with a few changes of words, but not many!

Character Zara/ Edith Mezzo     

Zara is Lady Sanguazure’s niece and Strephon’s cousin. She could be in love with Florian but she is finding it hard to forgive him for singing and performing so badly. Zara is also the local Sergeant of Police and may also sing When The Foeman. An attractive, confident young woman with a strong character and on stage a lot. If Zara wants to sing When the Foreman, I want a strong, entertaining performance. She may be up for the part against a man, so, may the best performer win. If Zara does not want or get the part of the main solo in When The Foeman she will sing the solo line for Edith in this song. So she sings a solo in it anyway!

Zara can audition for The Sergeant in When The Foeman Bears His Steel from Pirates of Penzance

Zara will sing After Sailing to This Island it is now re-written as After Driving to This Theatre from Gondoliers with Elsie, she will sing Gianetta’s line.

One of the lady’s chorus will sing Edith’s line from When The Foeman IF Zara gets to sing the part of The Sergeant. I hope that’s not too confusing!

Sergeant of Police a Man or Zara, if she wishes.       
As a man a member of the chorus with a solo part, If you are a male performer who wants to go for the part of the Sergeant of Police.  I want a strong, entertaining performance. You may be up against ladies who are auditioning for Zara. May the best performer win.

For the audition When the Foeman Bears His Steel from Pirates of Penzance


Director Patter Song character   
Maybe a little camp? Can be a man or a woman. Arty, wears a hat, really keen on Florian when he auditioned now getting cross with him. A caricature of an amateur director; very flamboyant. Not a big part but he/she gets to sing-and if he/she wishes, write, the words to Little List from The Mikado, based on the little foibles so prevalent in amateur societies.

Director sings Little List from The Mikado. Please feel free to sing it as Gilbert created it or let your imagination run free and write your own words. We will look forward to hearing you no matter which version you prepare.

Josephine / Mabel Soprano 
Is the ‘star’ of the ‘on stage’ performance. Needs to have a beautiful voice. May double for another character in the show because Mabel sings off stage. This could be the chance for a lady who longs to sing (again) the final ‘Poor wandering one’ from Finale Act 2 of Pirates. You will also be a very important part of the chorus. Sings solo in When The Foreman Bears from Pirates.

For the audition sing the aria Poor Wandering One from Finale Act 2 of Pirates of Penzance

Eliza Smith/Kate
Solo in Pirates
Kate sings a solo in  ‘Climbing over Rocky Mountains.’ A chance to make yourself a character. Is she Josephine’s best friend or her keenest rival? Is she bashful or bumptious?

Audition Climbing Over Rocky Mountains her own verse

John W Wells/Samuel    
A member of the chorus John plays Samuel with a solo part. Create a character.

For audition Pirate Samuel (not Sam Parrot) sings own verse Cat Like Tread from Pirates of Penzance

Vicar The Reverend Ralph Bunthorne    
Is seen occasionally but is not necessarily a member of the stage show. He is there to make the tea at the After Show party-most important. Could be a non-singer or a member of the chorus. Will not be auditioned.

Lord Adam      
Very old ghost. Reminiscent of Stix from Orpheus. Lord Simon’s Great Great Grandpa who reveres John Reed and WS Gilbert and remembers that the Ruddigore was named after the family. A member of the chorus. Will not be auditioned.

A young stage hand has a line to say!! Dances a little. A member of the some of the choruses but not in the Pirates section. Will not be auditioned.

Elsie the Wardrobe Mistress      
A lot of the business on stage is around Elsie, the costumes, wigs etc. She even has her own area on the stage. A nosey character who is very keen on hearing and distributing gossip. She was a friend of Lady Joan from when they were girls together and they are pleased to be re-united.

For audition Elsie will sing After Sailing to This Island which is now re-written as After Driving to This Theatre. She sings with Zara.