WHO KILLED ROB COCKYN
The Bovingdon Players are delighted to be returning to the Memorial Hall for our next production, described as a deeply moving and blisteringly witty black comedy that re-imagines the meaning of family and explores how the choices we make can change our lives forever.
After Electra by April de Angelis, directed by Ben Hooker
Performances will be from Thursday 23rd November to Saturday 25th November 2023.
Preparations will begin with a read-through of the play on Thursday 13th July (starting at 20.00 in The Clubroom), after which we will hold auditions on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th July (again starting at 20.00 in The Clubroom). Rehearsals at the Hall will be from 6th September, running every Wednesday & Thursday at 20.30 through to and including 16th November with additional Sundays as we approach the performance week.
Here is a summary of the play and its characters:
Virgie is an octogenarian determined to set her own date with the Grim Reaper. This eccentric, intelligent and coherent 84-year-old has stacked up a fair few years behind her, and wants to pop off now ‘before it gets any worse’.
Bringing together her closest friends and family for her birthday, she unveils her grand plan of killing herself the next day, much to the horror of those present. From then on, it’s Virgie against the world. Plenty of familial insecurities, but Virgie is unapologetic for her life’s mistakes – she lived her life.
Haydn is Virgie’s repressed, angry 58-year-old daughter who provides the drama: she is collateral damage for her mother’s selfishness.
[Virgie and Haydn are the principal and very large parts, rarely off stage]
Tom is Virgie’s 68 year old vain actor-friend, philanderer and constantly quoting from plays he’s been in. [large part]
Sonia is Tom’s wife, claims to be a novelist. [large part]
Shirley (Virgie’s 76 year old sister) is described as a deep-voiced ex-headmistress, who provides many of the play’s belly laughs.
Orin is Virgie’s 52 year old wastrel son who always runs back to his Mum when things go wrong in his life. [smaller part]
Roy is a taxi driver who suffers Virgie’s sharp tongue and criticism mid way through the play. [smaller part, age indeterminate]
Miranda is a 28 year old ex-student of Virgie who appears at the end of the play. [small part]
Some critics' comments (edited):
“Though death looms over ‘After Electra’, this isn’t a play about endings. It’s a complex, flawed look at families, how painful they can be, and how vital they are, in whatever shape or form.”
“The radical mother who sacrifices her children to her libertarian values in this fitfully impressive play, puts a fresh spin on the story by echoing the Electra myth, and by making the central figure an 84-year-old artist who, rather than being killed by her vengeful children, hankers after suicide. The obdurate Virgie uses a celebratory birthday get-together to announce her intention to kill herself. Protests inevitably ensue from her morose daughter Haydn, who’s a bereavement counsellor, her lordly sister and a couple of old friends but [writer] de Angelis skilfully plaits together the idea that old age can be a curse, and that we have the right to choose our own exit.”
As well as these acting roles, there are many other backstage roles which need filling and we are very keen to welcome newer faces to help bring this production together. The read-through on 13th July will provide an opportunity for you to familiarise yourself with the play, whether you are interested in reading for parts or not, while the auditions on 19th and 20th July will give us a chance to find the best fit for the parts and the relationships between the characters.
If you want to come to the read-through/auditions or to get involved in this production in other ways, please contact Ben in advance of these dates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April de Angelis
At last, in November 2021 the Bovingdon Players returned to the Memorial Hall with a double-bill of classic comedies:-
The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard
Chinamen (from The Two of Us) by Michael Frayn
In June 2022 we staged another of our murder mystery evening shows, the bizarre tale of a duplicitous fish and chips mogul and his untimely demise. Great fun was had by all!