Director: Nicola Gilbert 
Audition Date : Wednesday 30 June 2021 8pm Theydon Bois Village Hall
Panel: Nicola Gilbert, Tee Greener, Stephanie Jolly
Book: Alan Ayckbourn 2013
Era: contemporary
Cast: 4 male 4 female roles
Stage manager: Simon Gilbert
Show week: 9 – 16 January 2022


Brother and sister Martin and Hilda Massie live together, leading a quiet, Christian existence in the confines of the Bluebell Hill Development.  Just as they are preparing for a housewarming gathering, their peace is shattered by a young trespasser in their garden.  The Massies’ neighbours congregate in their living room and together they agree to form a neighbourhood watch group to safeguard against further incidents.  But after the Massies’ beloved garden gnome Monty is thrown through their window, matters swiftly escalate, complicated by Martin’s burgeoning romance with Amy, wife of Gareth, who was formerly involved with Luther, husband of Magda ……What begins as a well-intentioned scheme for a safer community ends in violence and acrimony.  

Characters - roughly in order of size of role

  • Martin Massie – a middle-aged bachelor, brother of Hilda.  A ‘yes man’ somewhat dominated by Hilda but more interesting when not in her company. Lead role. Has a romantic connection to Amy.  Playing age 45 – 55 

  • Hilda Massie – middle aged woman, slightly older than Martin.  Narrow minded.  Steely core.  Lead role.  Playing age 45 – 55

  • Rod Trusser – a retired man, neighbour of Martin and Massie.  An intolerant scare monger with given to telling tales of daring do!  A double act with Dorothy.  Playing age 60 +

  • Dorothy Doggett – neighbour of Martin and Massie.  A gossipy woman in the same mould as Rod.  Playing age 60 +

  • Gareth Janner – a modest man and a disappointment to his much more outgoing wife.  Playing age 35 – 45

  • Amy Janner – Attractive, confident woman with a certain reputation.  Playing age 35 – 45

  • Magda Bradley  A sweet woman bullied by Luther.  Music teacher.  Playing age 35 – 45

  • Luther Bradley – an angry man who is unkind to his wife.  Playing age 35 - 45

Some more information

This is a story typical of Ayckbourn’s writing style featuring seemingly bland characters masking a darker and somewhat damaged underside.  There are some very funny moments especially at the beginning but the narrative bleeds into something much more twisted as the story develops.  

Ages are indicative and may be adjusted to match up paired characters.  No specific accents are required.  Martin and Hilda certainly do the heavy lifting in terms of lines followed by Rod and Dorothy, but most others are on and off roles with enough action to be interesting and worthwhile.  

Auditioning and Rehearsals

Starting at the end of October 2021, rehearsals will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays with approximately three Sundays.  


Good availability is needed throughout the rehearsal period please.  


You must be a member to audition, so please get in touch in advance if you would like to join the society, you will be most welcome.  

Any queries about the roles or the audition process please do drop me a text or email.  If you would like to be considered but can’t make the audition, let me know in advance.  

Thank you!

07792 933953

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