Open-air Theatre


by William Shakespeare

Two heart-shaped red balloons and pages floating in the sky

Thu 25 July - Sat 3 August 2019 at 7.30pm (no performance Sun 28 July)
Performed in the open air in the courtyard of Abington Park Museum, Park Avenue South, Northampton NN1 5LW


Friday 26 April 2019 at 7.30pm

Burns Street Studios,
9 Burns Street,
Northampton NN1 3QF

Anyone can audition for Masque Theatre productions. If cast, you will be required to become a member of the group.

For more information about this production, email the director,
Beverley Webster.

AUDITION PREVIEW: Shakespeare meets The Big Bang Theory/Beauty and the Geek

In this modernised version of one of the lesser known of Shakespeare's comedies we meet four guys who vow to give up women, excessive food and sleep in order to study for three years.

As if this isn't hard enough, almost immediately four gorgeous girls arrive hoping to meet with the guys on urgent business and needing a place to stay.

Woven into the plot are a variety of familiar comedy characters: the pompous schoolmistress, the dim-witted policeman and the dithering vicar, alongside wily servants and a comedy Spaniard, all stock characters from commedia dell'arte, the ancestor of our pantomime tradition.

This is a colourful, fast-paced comedy romp with a twist, because just when the labours of love appear to be succeeding ultimately it is Love's Labours Lost.

Since the comedic characters tie-in closely to stock characters from commedia dell'arte we will be exploring physical comedy and "lazzi" (set comedy routines) during the rehearsal process - hopefully including a short workshop at the audition.

Read a full synopsis of the play by downloading the document below (PDF format):

Download synopsis


Male roles (8):

The Lovers (the main story revolves around these characters)
- Ages 20s-40s

  • King - the high status (but slightly geeky) one
  • Berowne - the witty one
  • Longaville - the sarcastic (and a little scared of women) one
  • Dumaine - the young, trendy one

The Comedy Characters (mainly form the comic subplot)
- Any age, unless specified

  • Costard ("the clown") - cheeky, lawless, irreverent servant. Needs to be able to lead the singing at the end and play a ukulele/banjo etc. Plays Apollo in the pageant. Please practise the intro & first verse of The Galaxy Song by Eric Idle.
  • Don Adriano de Armado (the braggart Spaniard) - over-the-top Spanish accent, the butt of jokes because he uses flamboyant words and is generally ridiculous. Plays Vladimir Putin (still strong traces of his Spanish accent though) in the pageant.
  • Dull (the policeman) - dull-witted, needs to have good physical comedy skills as he mimics a sniffer dog when hunting Costard. Plays a Korean minion in the pageant.
  • Sir Nathaniel (the vicar) - age 50+ Holofernes's sidekick, a little nervy, may have a stammer. Plays Donald Trump (please try to mimic his voice, if poss.) in the pageant.

Female roles (8):

The Lovers (the main story revolves around these characters)
- Ages 20s-40s

  • Princess - the high status (but slightly geeky) one
  • Rosaline - the witty one
  • Maria - the cheeky (slightly rude/tongue-in-cheek) one
  • Katherine - the young, trendy one

  • Boyet (high class servant to the ladies) - witty, sarcastic, gender fluid (is mistaken for a male by some characters). Plays "love monger" between the lords & ladies.

The Comedy Characters (mainly form the comic subplot)
- Any age, unless specified

  • Holofernes (the schoolteacher) - 50+ incredibly pompous, looks down on all. Plays Margaret Thatcher (please try to mimic her voice, if possible) in the pageant.
  • Moth (servant to Armado) - small in stature, witty, irreverent to her master. Sent to woo the ladies by the lords, is put off her lines when they turn their backs on her. "Sings" for her master in Act 3 Sc1 (most likely a modern pop song or it could be a rap?). Plays Kim Jong Un in the pageant.
  • Jaquenetta (the dairymaid) - 40+ Costard's companion, wooed by Armado to whom she is initially sarcastic. Plays Donald Duck (with pregnancy bump) in the pageant. it would be helpful for you to look at Donald Duck’s walk.

Download the audition speeches (PDF format):

Download audition speeches

Masque Theatre's production is directed by Beverley Webster who has previously directed Playhouse Creatures (2017)