by Ronald Harwood

The words: The dresser

Tue 14 - Sat 18 May 2019 at 7.30pm
The Playhouse Theatre, Clare Street, Northampton NN1 3JA


Friday 1 March 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, contact the director, Clare Brittain, on 01604 584668

AUDITION PREVIEW: 'The show must go on!'

Clare Brittain | director

The Dresser by Ronald Harwood was first performed in the West End in 1980
and on Broadway the following year.

Harwood was an actor in his younger years and was an acting member of Sir Donald Wolfit's touring theatre company who performed Shakespeare's plays and other classic plays all over the country for many years.

The character of Sir is inspired by Wolfit. Harwood spent some time as Wolfit's dresser and also wrote a biography about him.

The play takes place in wartime England. 'Sir' and his motley company of actors have been touring the country, performing a different Shakespeare play every night.

Sir has suffered some sort of breakdown but, against doctors' orders, has made his way to the theatre where tonight's performance of
King Lear will be performed.

His wife and the stage manager don't think the performance will go ahead judging by his mental and physical condition.

Norman, his faithful dresser of over twenty is determined that the show will go on!


  • Sir - an actor/manager, age 60-70
  • Norman - his dresser, 40s/50s
  • Her Ladyship - Sir's wife and leading lady with the company, 40s/50s - must be size 14/16 (This isn't being sizeist, it's part of the plot)
  • Oxenby - Leading actor with the group, 30-40. Does not get on with Sir. He walks with a pronounced limp.
  • Madge - Stage Manager with the company for 20 years, 40s/50s. Secretly in love with Sir.
  • Geoffrey - Older member of the group who usually only plays bit parts, 60s/70s.
  • Irene - Younger member of the company, 20s. Must be size 8-12 , again not being sizeist, it's part of the plot.

Clare Brittain has also directed The Madness of King George (2007) and Amadeus (2015)