Off The Hook – Derek Benfield (Phoenix Theatre, May 2015)
Unpaid theatre production auditions are being held on
Tuesday 2nd December, 7pm
18 Richards Ave, Forrest Hill (Look for the sign on the street)
To confirm your place at either audition, please contact Braydon Priest. firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 954 182
If you can't attend that night please let Braydon know and they can try to arrange another time for you.
Act One – An afternoon in spring
Act Two – The same evening
Act Three – The early hours of the next morning
Spring 1969. There are two Harold Spooks, both in the same prison, one who knows where the loot is hidden, and the other who was coming out a week on Friday. The wrong Harold is sprung and so the fun begins. Fred and Charlie have planned to take Harold to the hotel where they believe the loot is stashed, share it out and make their getaway. Now, they not only have the wrong Harold who is a right twit, but are also hampered in their efforts by the man-crazy Norah, and her gloomy sister Edna. Amid much plotting and planning by Fred and Charlie, we also meet Mrs. Fletcher-Brewer and her daughter Carol, guests at the hotel who have come for a quiet spot of fishing, and Polly and her Dad. A surprising twist to the tale lets them ‘off the hook.’
Norah Catchpole: Female 40 - 60
The publican’s missus. Plump, loud and cheerful, man-eater. Friendly. Spends most of the play chasing Harold. A fairly lightweight part which is a lot of fun.
Edna: Female 40 – 70
The opposite of her sister in every way. Gloomy, serious, takes everything at face value. Feels hard done by. Ideally a small (in stature) woman, used to hard work even if she does complain about it.
Fred Baxter: Male 30 – 60
Cockney. Strong character who is definitely in charge. Doesn’t suffer fools easily, especially Charlie and Harold. Forceful, needs plenty of attack. The ‘straight’ guy – a good foil for Charlie.
Major Catchpole: Male 40 – 60
The publican of Hook House Hotel. Military ‘type’ but underneath lies a cockney waiting (and sometimes slipping) to get out. A snob. Speech is mannered and over refined. Does his best to look after his guests in spite of the help / hindrance of his wife and sister in law. His dealings with Mrs F-B are obsequious (fawning, flattering, groveling). Would be very easy to play him as another Fawlty, but it is important to stay away from this.
Charlie Mullins: Male 20 – 40
Pleasant, easy going, charming, cheeky. In awe of Fred, but does enjoy the whole situation. Talks is way out of many an awkward moment. He likes what he sees in Carol and their relationship provides a little break in the sometimes-frenzied action of the play. A delightful character to play – one who almost single handedly stage-manages the whole business of the story on stage.
Harold Spook: Male 30 – 60
His is a case of mistake identity – the wrong person being in the wrong place most of the time. He is a quiet, brow beaten, and pathetic little man. Bears the brunt of the misfortunes that take place during the play. Bewildered by most of what happens and really only wants to be going back to the peace and security of the jail he was sprung from. Also needs to be played “straight” for maximum effect.
Mrs Fletcher – Brewer: Female 50 – 70
Tall, severe, over bearing, stern faced, forthright, commanding in voice and presence also very demanding. Even fearless Fred is in awe of her at times. A good foil for Catchpole who hangs on her every word and command.
Carol: Female 20 – 30
Mrs F-B’s daughter and very different from her mother. Friendly, patient, charming and obedient to her mother (most of the time). She finds Charlie a pleasant bit of relief from her mother’s fishing expeditions.
Polly: Female 20 – 40
Sexy, fashion forward. Also cockney. Her boyfriend is the real Harold Spook. Also a strong character.
Mr Parkinson: Male 60 – 80
Polly’s dad. Old, vague, deaf and confused. He is the center of some very funny business, and again by playing him as a believable character who says very little, he can be a lot of fun.