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Ken Ludwig's Baskerville Auditions

Monday, March 9, 20206:00PM - Monday, March 9, 20209:00PM
At CSTAC Lab Theatre
Organized by Longwood University Theatre

ANNOUNCING AUDITIONS FOR

Ken Ludwig's

BASKERVILLE:  A SHERLOCK HOLMES MYSTERY

 

Auditions will be held the Monday night we return from Spring Break.  That's Monday, March 9th at 6:00 PM in the Lab Theatre, call backs, if needed will be Tuesday night.

Performances April 15th through 19th CSTAC Mainstage

 

Rehearsals will be in the evenings and will start immediately once the show is cast.

 

Audition Format:  Will be selected readings from the script and possible improvisation scenarios.

 

Cast Breakdown (Five actors needed, one actor will play Sherlock Holmes, one actor will play Dr. Watson, three other actors will portray the 36 other characters in the play (37 if you count the Baby in the carriage).  See Male, Female in breakdown.

 

Keep in mind that Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery is a farce-comedy which is also played dramatically in terms of the deadly nature of the mystery involved.  The plot of Baskerville is for the most part a scene by scene stage presentation of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes mystery “The Hound of the Baskerville”.

 

It is hoped that those auditioning know the classic duo of Holmes and Dr. Watson, whether from reading Doyle's original stories as I did as a kid, to the classic black and white movie versions, in particular the 1939 The Hound of the Baskerville staring Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson (which is on YouTube in its entirety), to the most recent Holmes and Watson of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.  For my liking, it seems that Mr. Ludwig's Holmes and Watson are stylized closer to Rathbone and Bruce from the 1939 version, although you might also find pieces of Robert Downy Jr. and Jude Law's Holmes and Watson.  However, Mr. Ludwig's generation, he was born in 1950, is primarily making good fun of the 1939 movie characters.  Indeed, if you watch the 1939 movie as you read the play, they mirror each other almost scene by scene.

 

A Word on Accents:  Going for standard BBC Accent for Holmes and Watson, many of the other accents used in the play can be conveyed by the actor through the way Ludwig writes the dialogue.  We can figure out where in England they come from later.

 

Holmes is “over the top”, as exhibited in most interpretations of Holmes whether 1939 or 2020.  He is deadly serious about what he does.  Absolutely loves what he does.  Has his bad habits, as is well known, but really only one indication during the play.  Yet, Holmes always seems like he is constantly wired on caffeine. (Holmes has to have “a look” – calm, stoic, in control but ready for action if needed, a leading person)

 

Watson (Male/Female, could depend on my Holmes) is steadfast loyal companion.  Hardly ever “over the top” but when is it is always fun to watch.  Behavior wonderfully contrasts with Holmes.  Watson is dedicated, bit naive.    (Watson, a contrast to Holmes, character in nature, not the leading person, proper British with a bit of gruff “harrumphs” thrown in – See 1939 Nigel Bruce)  Watson is also the Narrator of story to the audience.

 

Actor One (Male/Female):  The main role is Doctor Mortimer, but is also 13 other characters, ranging from the mystery Man with the Black Beard, the hard of hearing wife Lucy, the Castilian Desk Clerk, the butterfly chasing Mr. Stapleton, the hunchback Barrymore, to the young London street urchin Milker.  (a bit quirky, accents Castilian, British, Cockney, etc, villain at times,  male and female characters)

 

Actor Two (Male):  The main role is the Texan inheritor of Baskerville, Sir Henry Baskerville (big old texas accent and attitude, guns ready).  But also 8 others such as the late Sir Charles Baskerville, Daisy the chambermaid, the evil Sir Hugo Baskerville, and Inspector Lestrade. ( Henry is the strong Texan accented leading man type but a little slow, also has to be his recent Uncle as well as his several hundred year old villain relative.)

 

Actor Three (Female):  The main role is as Mrs. Hudson. But is 13 other characters such as the helpless Maiden, the old Shepardess, the heavily accented German Maid, the sweet lovely Miss Stapleton, Cartwright the other London street urchin and others.  (She is the matronly Mrs. Hudson, as well as the very lovely, young Miss Stapleton that Sir Henry falls immediately in love with.  Accents heavy German and Cockney and others).


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