Auditions listed below for:

Shakespeare in Love

I Love you, You’re perfect, Now Change

Want to be involved but don’t want to act? There’s always plenty to do backstage – see our membership page for details.

Non-members are welcome but please read the notes on this page.

Membership Commitment – as part of your membership we expect all members to support the theatre by assisting with our Front of House Operations when the theatre is open for performances by either Stewarding, working on the Bar or Coffee Bar. We term this as a “Duty” and members are expected to do ten “Duties” per membership year.

New Members will be asked to do three duties before the run of any production they are cast in. Existing members should ensure that they have fulfilled their quota of duties before auditioning or they may not be considered for a production. All members should do a minimum of three duties within a four month period.

The Crescent Theatre is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities within the theatre, and affiliated projects, through the way we manage the venue and provide services to the community. No person should experience discrimination or lack of opportunities on the grounds of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation or disability. In the provision of services and in regards to the membership and visiting companies, the Crescent Theatre is committed to promoting equal opportunities for everyone.  Click here for our Statement of Commitment on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.

Please note

While auditions are intended for members, non-members are welcome to attend on the understanding that, if successful in reading for a part, you would be expected to become a member of the theatre. This entitles you to take part in all theatre activities and to concessionary ticket prices. In return you will be expected to attend all rehearsals and performances and to undertake your required allocation of front of house duties. Your membership subscription must be paid by the end of the second rehearsal. Membership fees for a year are £60 (£25 if unwaged). More details on Crescent Membership can be found in the membership pages.

Unless stated otherwise, the venue for all readings and auditions is the Crescent Theatre.


adapted for the stage by

Lee Hall

based on the screenplay by

Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard

How lucky are we to have the chance to do this glorious play! It has wonderful characters with clever, witty lines, romance, drama, dancing, sword fighting and lovely music. Lee Hall has brought the film to the stage with a sure hand, embracing its changed format, exchanging the wide sweep of film for a theatricality and immediacy that captures audiences anew.

Of course, it’s a challenge for us; it needs to look and sound marvellous, and requires a company who can meet the wide-ranging demands of acting, singing, dancing and being part of a dynamic ensemble. Liz and the board are under no illusions about the demands, but rightly feel that it is an audience pleaser as well as a performer pleaser, that it can rally the membership to the heights of excellence and that the Crescent has continually taken on and beaten such theatrical challenges. I am very excited to be coordinating this theatre wide project.

There are of course roles with more lines than others but, integral, and where this show sinks or swims, are the ensemble. They are on almost continuously, and act, sing, dance, play and create all the transitions. The ensemble will be very busy and, I also promise, will not be some faceless chorus, but create the people of the theatres, taverns and streets of Elizabethan London. Please don’t be alarmed by the notion of singing, acting and dancing. Not everyone is triple threat and one of the delights of this piece is that it can include performers with a variety of strengths.

The audition process

Gary will be recruiting some in-house musicians for the on-stage band but please also let us know any instrumental skill you have.

You will need to sign up for an acting slot and attend one of the sing audition days. Please don’t be alarmed if one of those skills isn’t particularly your forte. We need to get a sense of the collective skills of the company we are putting together. Most of the singing is ensemble and it is also possible to change the character singing the solo moments.


Singing Auditions (you will need to sign up for one slot, more details to follow, ASAP)

The music for Shakespeare in Love is wonderful! It is an original score written for the stage play. Music is threaded through the entire play and involves singers and instrumentalists. The music is engaging and will be great fun to perform. We hope to cover most of the singing requirements and some of the instrumental requirements from within the cast. Once it is cast,  we will find out what the instrumental skills are of the cast and if necessary supplement from the main membership. All cast will be asked to sing in the ensemble numbers.

The music auditions will be relaxed and informal and will concentrate just on singing.  No one will be required to sing on their own unless they wish to. However , if you want to be considered for a role that requires singing then it would be useful if you could bring a song (any style) to the auditions. The auditions will begin with some group singing and then where appropriate I will listen to individuals sing. If you want to discuss the singing auditions, then please don’t hesitate to contact me on

Sunday May 29th 18.00 – 20.30 Roma Rehearsal Room

Tuesday May 31st 19.00 – 22.00 Cumberland Room

Acting Auditions (sign up for one slot, be familiar with, but don’t learn by heart, the Shakespeare lines. There will also be some sides of script to read – to follow ASAP)

Sunday June 5th 10.30 – 14.30 Cumberland Room

Tuesday June 7th 19.00 – 21.30 Cumberland Room

Wednesday June 8th 19.00 – 21.30 Ron Barber Studio Call Backs


SUMMARY (but without a spoiler)

Young Will Shakespeare has writer’s block and needs some inspiration. His ideas for his new comedy, Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter, are less than genius and the owner of the theatre is under scrutiny from the producer, to whom he owes money. Meanwhile, across town, a rival theatre performs Will’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and heaven forbid, they added a dog, all without his permission!

The high-spirited young lady, Viola De Lesseps, who knows Will’s work very well, yearns to be on the stage. This, of course, is against the law in Elizabethan England, but it doesn’t stop her from trying. Disguised as a young man and going by the name Thomas Kent, Viola attends auditions for Will’s next play –  the very one he is struggling to finish.

Viola returns home to prepare for the ball being hosted by the De Lesseps household and discovers her father has arranged a marriage for her to a Lord Wessex, a swaggering, wealthy Virginia plantation owner.

Will and his playwright friend Christopher Marlowe come to Viola’s house looking for “Master Kent” to offer him the lead, Romeo, in the play, and are invited to come in to the ball. Here Will sees Viola, as herself, for the first time, and soon a scene similar to the initial meeting of Romeo and Juliet takes place. Will’s sudden attention to Viola offends Lord Wessex, and when asked for his name, Will introduces himself as Marlowe.

Later, Viola’s nurse delivers Will’s message to Viola about her getting the role in the play but warns that acting will not end well for her. Marlowe accompanies Will to Viola’s balcony, and a Romeo-and-Juliet-like balcony scene unfolds as Will discovers newfound inspiration. The nurse discovers Will before he escapes, but now the household is onto him—but by the name Marlowe.

Rehearsals begin the next day and Viola (as Kent) plays Romeo. As they continue, the story gradually changes from one about Romeo and a pirate’s daughter to one with a love interest named Juliet.

Wessex visits Viola and informs her of their impending marriage and journey to Virginia. Though it breaks her heart, Viola sends word to Will that he must not visit her again because it is too dangerous. Will follows Kent from rehearsal and divulges his desperate love for Viola. He soon discovers Viola’s disguise, and they declare their passion for each other.

Will tries to convince Viola to run away with him instead of marrying Wessex. She knows she can never do this, and that she must go with Wessex to receive the Queen’s approval for their marriage. Once at court, the Queen interviews Viola and privately tells Wessex she can tell Viola has another lover. In his anger, he assumes it is Marlowe and goes after him.

As things continue to fall apart, one of Will’s rivals claims he has rights to the Romeo and Juliet manuscript and attempts to get it away from the cast during a rehearsal. Will’s company manages to hold on to it, but as they celebrate, Viola/Kent discovers Will has an estranged wife and two children. She runs out, leaving the group to mourn over the sudden news that Marlowe was just stabbed to death across town.

Drunk and dangerous, Wessex finds Viola distraught in her bedroom and breaks the news of “her” playwright’s death. She faints, believing he means Will; but when Will enters looking for Viola, Wessex flees thinking him the ghost of Marlowe.

Similar to the ending of Romeo and Juliet, Will sees Viola and pleads if she be dead, that he die too. Fortunately she awakes at his kiss and they work through their misunderstandings. However, more troubles await at the theatre. The Queen’s chamberlain declares The Rose closed for allowing a female to act on the stage. With so many disruptions, what happens now to Will’s new play and where will the players go? How can Will and Viola be together now with her wedding approaching? What does Will’s future hold?


  • EDMUND TILNEY – Courtier, Master of the Revels, Lord Chamberlain and censor. Arrogant, proud and pompous.
  • WILL SHAKESPEARE – (You know about him) This is a young, headstrong Bard; his love for Viola is unexpected and genuine. (Very quick glimpse of partial nudity and intimacy with Viola. Sword fighting)
  • RALPH – Waiter at the Tavern with master chef aspirations and only while he’s ‘resting’ as an actor, likes a drink, gets to play the Nurse in R and J. Also plays one of the Capulets. (Sword fighting)
  • KATE – A prostitute (She will also be many other things during the course of the show)
  • VIOLA DE LESSEPS – The lady who would be an actor, and it’s a pity she isn’t allowed because she’s good. Must choose between love and duty. (Really fast costume changes including facial hair. Brief glimpse of very partial nudity and intimacy with Will)
  • QUEEN ELIZABETH – (Again you know her) This is actually a rather wise and witty version but she is every inch the queen.
  • HENSLOWE – Successful businessman in the dying trade, built the Rose Theatre on the site of a Brothel (just like the first Crescent Theatre) Ned Allyn married his stepdaughter. Now he’s deeply in debt and having to turn to the likes of Fennyman for support.
  • ROBIN / FREES – Frees – Fennyman’s henchman, Robin an auditionee for Romeo, plays Tybalt. And Lady Capulet.  (Sword fighting)
  • MOLLY / MISTRESS QUICKLY – Molly: a prostitute (She will be many other things during the course of the show)
  • BURBAGE – The most famous actor at the Globe Theatre, excelling in tragedy but somewhat over the top perhaps? (Sword fighting)
  • SIR ROBERT DE LESSEPS – Viola’s father, anxious to improve the family status by marrying his daughter to Wessex
  • SAM – A boy actor whose voice is breaking but he plays Juliet
  • NURSE – The archetype from R and J
  • PETER / BARMAN – Peter: one of the actors, he plays Petruccio. (Sword fighting)
  • MARLOWE – Poet. Playwright, first to popularise the use of blank verse, allegedly a government spy, died in suspicious circumstances. Very witty and at first rather more inspired than Will. (Wears clothes well)
  • WABASH – Would-be actor with a stutter. Henslowe employs him to avoid a debt to his tailor. He also makes costumes.
  • NOL – Actor, plays Benvolio.  Plays Sampson. (Sword fighting)
  • ADAM / BOATMAN – Adam – would-be actor Plays Gregory, Boatman – channels a London taxi driver, ‘You’ll never guess who I had in the back of my cab. . .’
  • WESSEX – Boorish snob with a side-serving of lechery and sadism. (Sword fighting)
  • NED ALLEYN – Major actor in Elizabethan theatre, described here as ‘a handsome piratical figure, also acts as stage director. (Sword fighting)
  • LAMBERT / GUARD – Lambert: One of Fennyman’s henchmen, Guard: Bouncer at the ball with one of the best lines in the play.
  • FENNYMAN – A star-struck theatre investor – money and no class, favourite phrase, ‘Shut it!’
  • JOHN WEBSTER – Very young actor
 who could play female roles, bit devious (has potential?)
  • ENSEMBLE MEMBERS / MUSICIANS / ATTENDANT – The beating heart of the show, Some triple threat, Some actors who sing, Some singers who act, Some who can dance a bit, All shapes, sizes, ages – this is Elizabethan London

For all roles, some lines to familiarise yourself with, but no need to learn, choose either Romeo or Juliet:

Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night’s candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.

Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need’st not to be gone.

Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I’ll say yon grey is not the morning’s eye,
‘Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is’t, my soul? let’s talk; it is not day.


I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a musical comedy revue with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts.  The performance is a musical anthology of sorts in which the cast explores a variety of different romantic relationships, ranging from awkward first dates through to marriage, babies, and divorce.  The musical is on equal part witty and cheeky as it is romantic and charming which we hope will not only give audiences a laugh but will also inspire those that have struggled to get back out on the dating game after the pandemic to give it another shot.

The performance will be directed by Mark Shaun Walsh and Neve Lawler who will be working alongside the Musical Director, Chris Arnold.  Rehearsals shall be on Wednesdays at 7pm, Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm.

Auditions for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will be taking place on:

  • Thursday 9th of June from 7:30pm till 10pm
  • Sunday 12th of June from 2pm till 6pm

Call backs will be on Wednesday the 15th of June from 7:30pm till 10pm.

Cast details:

We would like to find three male presenting and three female presenting cast members of any age, each of which will play multiple characters throughout the performance.

For the audition Mark and Neve would like you to prepare to deliver a piece of dialogue from the show: Please see the below excerpts. You will be asked to perform at least one of the pieces. Additionally we ask you to prepare a comedic song from a musical of your choice. You are welcome to provide your own backing track (no vocals on the track please) on a phone/memory stick or alternatively you are welcome to bring piano sheet music in the correct key.

We look forward to seeing you. If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact Mark and Neve via:

SCENE 2 excerpt

SCENE 6 excerpt