Auditions – Much Ado About Nothing

The Nomads will be presenting Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in October 2018, directed by Andrew Hamel-Cooke.

A sharply witty romantic comedy – a battle of the sexes. As soldiers memories of conflict give way to a life of parties and masked balls, two fall madly, deeply in love, while another two reignite their own altogether more combative courtship.

  • Performance dates: 9-13 October 2018 at 7:45pm
  • Rehearsal days: TBC

Take a look at the reviews of the previous two Shakespeare plays presented by The Nomads and directed by Andrew, here:

Audition dates:

  • Please contact to arrange a date

Auditions will be held in the Bob King room at The Nomad Theatre, Bishopsmead Parade, East Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 6RT (click here)

If you are interested in auditioning and/or would like further information, please email us to let Andrew know on [email protected]

Casting still open for:

  • Claudio –  Male – Playing age 20 – A young soldier who has recently returned from war.  Claudio falls in love with Hero upon his return to Messina. He is easily manipulated., wears his heart on his sleeve, and too quick to believe rumors, and reacts emotionally without enough thought.
  • Balthasar –  Male – Any age – A waiting man in Leonato’s household and a musician. Balthasar flirts with Margaret at the masked party and helps Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro trick Benedick into falling in love with Beatrice. Should be able to sing.
  • Borachio –  Male – Playing age 25 – An associate of Don John. Borachio is the lover of Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. He conspires with Don John to trick Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio. His name means “drunkard” in Italian
  • Dogberry (/Hugh Oatcake) –  Male – Any age 30+ – The constable in charge of the Watch, or chief policeman, of Messina. Dogberry takes his job seriously, but isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Middle class, with a desire to appear higher, which creates great humour in his choice of words.   Comedic timing is a must with this role.
  • Sexton – Male – Any age 30+ – Leads the trial against the villains.

Other characters (already cast):

  • Benedick –  Male – Playing age 25 – Our Male lead…must be able to deliver a three dimensional character full of energy, humor and honestly.   Benedick is a soldier  recently returned from the war along with with Don Pedro and best friend Claudio. Benedick is quite charming, always making jokes and puns and carries on a “merry war” of wits with Beatrice.  Chemistry with female lead is paramount.
  • Hero – Female – Playing age 20 – The beautiful young daughter of Leonato and cousin to Beatrice. Hero is lovely, gentle, and kind.  She also needs to have a well rounded character.  She has the lead in the prank that is played on Beatrice, she is scorned by her betrothed, and the actor who wins this role must be able to portray a wide range of emotions through the course of the play.
  • Beatrice – Female – Playing age 25 – Beatrice is a strong willed woman, with a sharp wit and spirit.   Our Female lead must deliver a well rounded character with honesty and intellect.  She wages a war of wits against Benedick and often wins the battle. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry, however, she is in love with Benedick, just unwilling to admit it.  Chemistry with the male lead in paramount.
  • Don Pedro –  Male – Playing age 50 to 60 – An important nobleman, sometimes referred to as “Prince.”  Don Pedro is a longtime friend of Leonato, Hero’s father. Don Pedro is generous, courteous, intelligent, and loyal to his friends. He is the most politically and socially powerful character in the play.  This character needs to be very charismatic.
  • Leonato –  Male – Playing age  50 to 60 – A  well-to-do, elderly noble.  Leonato is the father of Hero and the uncle of Beatrice. As governor of Messina, he is second in social power only to Don Pedro.
  • Don John – Male – Playing age 45 -55 – The illegitimate brother of Don Pedro; sometimes called “the Bastard.”  He is the villain of the play; his actions are motivated by his envy of his brother’s social authority, (or jealousy if cast as a female).
  • Margaret – Female – Playing age 20 – Hero’s serving woman, who unwittingly helps Borachio and Don John deceive Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful.  Margaret is lower class, full of life and a bit sassy.   She unwittingly becomes involved in Don Johns plot.
  • Conrad –  Male – Playing age 25 – One of Don John’s close associates, entirely devoted to Don John.
  • Verges – Male – Any age – The deputy to Dogberry.  Equally bumbling.
  • Antonio –  Male – Playing age 60’s – Leonato’s elderly brother and Hero’s uncle. He is Beatrice’s father.
  • Ursula –  Female – Playing age 20’s – One of Hero’s waiting women.
  • Friar Francis – Male – Any age 30+ – The priest who married the lovers, and is the voice of reason in the show.   Compassion, patience, (humor) and stability are keys to his character.

Casting notes – The Chalk Garden

The Nomads will be presenting The Chalk Garden by Enid Bagnold in November 2018, directed by Murray Stephen.

  • Performance dates: 13-17 November 2018 at 7:45pm
  • Rehearsal days: Rehearsals will start in early September; expect two evenings a week – which evenings will depend on availability of the cast, and also rehearsal space at the theatre – and probably 4 Sundays; Likely to be evenings, but am open to discussion if people prefer afternoons

Audition dates:

  • Sunday 12th August – 7.30
  • Tuesday 21st August – 8p.m.

Auditions will be held in the Bob King room at The Nomad Theatre, Bishopsmead Parade, East Horsley, Leatherhead, Surrey KT24 6RT (click here)

Auditions will be run as open readings, where different people can interact, but if anybody feels that they cannot do themselves full justice in such situations, Director Murray will be happy to arrange private sessions. Similarly for anybody who is interested and cannot make those dates.

Contact details:
E: [email protected]
T: 07831 262660

Description of the play:
A troubled teenage girl lives with her eccentric grandmother, Mrs. St. Maugham, in a big house in Sussex, with a Chalk Garden. When a new governess is hired, partly to keep Laurel’s mother from taking her back, the brittle calm of the household is shaken. Miss Madrigal has no past, and no references; but when Mrs. St Maugham’s old friend the Judge comes to lunch, secrets are revealed and illusions destroyed.

Enid Bagnold’s 1955 play deals with issues that are as relevant now as they were in the 50’s, renewing and rebuilding lives, and above all the need for love, and the need to move on. It was first performed on Broadway, in 1955. It opened in London in 1956 with Edith Evans and
Peggy Ashcroft, and was the most successful play that year, eclipsing both “Look Back in Anger” and “The Deep Blue Sea”. It won numerous awards in Britain and on Broadway, including rave reviews from Kenneth Tynan. It has been revived regularly.

There was a run at the Donmar Theatre in 2008, with Margaret Tyzack (her last play) Penelope Wilton and Felicity Jones in her breakthrough role, and it ran at Chichester this year with Penelope Keith, to 5-star reviews. It was also filmed in 1964 starring Edith Evans, Deborah Carr, Hayley Mills and John Mills.

If you are interested in auditioning and/or would like further information, please email Murray or [email protected] 


  • Mrs St. Maugham: Playing age around 70. Cultured, but not as clever as she thinks she is; at her worst an arrant snob, but underneath it genuinely (if not wisely) devoted to her grand-daughter. Dominated by her aged butler from his sick-bed, with constant exhortations to maintain the old standards and the old ways.
  • Miss Madrigal: Playing age 35-45; a solitary woman with apparently no past, but a passion for gardening. Hired by Mrs. St Maugham as a governess for Laurel. Gradually develops a deep concern for both Mrs St Maugham and Laurel. Her arrival is the catalyst for the play, which reaches its climax when her secrets are revealed.
  • Laurel: Playing age 16: a troubled girl, who plays up to the idea of being “troubled”, living with her grandmother. She fled there after her mother re-married.
  • Maitland: Manservant, playing age anything between 30 and 60; insecure and nervy, but reasonably good at his job; still recovering from his time in prison as a Conscientious Objector during the war. Laurel’s only real companion.
  • The Judge: Playing age @75; old friend of Mrs St. Maugham. A little pompous at times, but shrewd and genuinely concerned for justice.
  • Olivia: Mrs St. Maugham’s daughter, mother of Laurel. Having been widowed young, after a marriage that appears to have been more successful socially than personally (rich older man) she has recently re-married for love, and is seeking to persuade Laurel to come back and join her and her new husband, and the child they are expecting.
  • Nurse: small but important part – mouthpiece of aged butler.
  • Applicants – two other women applying for the post of Governess; small parts in opening scene only:
    – “Little Lady” – nervous, fingers constantly fidgeting
    – “3rd Lady” – “Decayed Beauty”, arrogant, only came out of curiosity.