Twelfth Night – cast breakdown

Casting coming – Bradford Cathedral will be hosting a production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Thursday 19th July to Saturday 21st July 7.15pm, with a matinee on Saturday 2.15pm. Unpaid production, production company ACT Bradford, director me. Hello.

Orsino. A Duke. Complex character. Fancies himself as a rock god, goes into silly tantrums when he gets angry, but fundamentally a decent bloke. Any age, but will have to kiss Viola without it looking creepy.

Olivia. A lady. Fancies herself as a Tragic Heroine, is a capable woman, has the sexual confidence to chase men without looking like Dick Emery (ask your mum). Any age but must kiss Sebastian, and sexually pursue Viola without it looking creepy.

Viola and Sebastian. Viola is a big part. Must be able to convince us that she’s hopelessly in love with Orsino. Sebastian just needs a reasonable resemblance to Viola and to look fairly convincing in the sort of fight scene. Will need to play younger than Orsino and Olivia

Toby Belch and Andrew Aguecheek. The original Laurel and Hardy. Or Morecambe and Wise, if Eric had been as thick as a plank, Ernie had punched people, and they’d both been borderline alcoholics. Male, older better but not compulsory.

Maria. A servant. Toby Belch’s wife in all but name (400 year old spoiler alert – they marry at the end) Badly treated by Malvolio, will need to be able to portray old married couple with Toby Belch, and raw hatred with Malvolio. Female. Age unimportant but must convince as Mrs Toby Belch.

Malvolio. A servant. A fantasist who dreams of being lord. Sucks up to anyone he considers useful, dumps on anyone he doesn’t. Tricky one, he’s there to take the piss out of a particular type of puritan (Brownists if you’re interested. No? Oh well, forget I mentioned it then). Tends to suit someone with good standup skils. Age unimportant. Really would prefer male for this but open to being proved wrong.

Feste. It is my own considered opinion that Feste isn’t human. Olivia’s house entertainer, Feste comes and goes as they please. They wander into strangers’ homes and expect to be fed. They play with people seemingly for the sheer devilment of it, and scavenge any chance they get. Feste is a cat. But as cats are rubbish at learning lines and never follow notes we’ll cast a human. I’d like an actress for this, just to get a bit more gender balance. Feste can be any age.

Sundry smaller parts. They may be written as a particular gender but open to being proved wrong:

Sea captain has one scene in Act One and a bit later on. Nice chap. Needs to convince us that he was born “not three hours hence” without explaining why he doesn’t just go visit the relatives.

Curio is Orsino’s servant. Manages Orsino successfully. Gender and age unimportant. Would like an actress for this though, again just to improve the balance

Valentino. They get to walk on with Viola in boy form and say “cor, those past three days, in which you met Orsino and became his most favourite servant and companion, to the point where if we didn’t know the old boy better we’d say he was falling in love with you, were brilliant!” They were, but they were also all offstage. Cheers Bill. At this stage there’s a good likelihood I’m giving those lines to Curio, but we’ll see how it goes in audition. It’s a small part but a fun one. Age and gender irrelevant.

Antonio. Survives the shipwreck with Sebastian. He’s, to put it politely, a rough diamond. Wanted by the police. Needs to convince us that he’s a decent bloke who may have made a few unwise life choices in the past. The very recent past. Very unwise.

Fabian. Is a sneaky sucker who got dropped in it by Malvolio. They really don’t like Malvolio. Age and gender open.

Reverend. Marries Olivia and Sebastian. Small part in Act 5.

Rehearsals will be in central Bradford, starting late April, at this stage on Sundays with a weekday evening to be agreed between the crew, with performances end of July. Auditions are in the Bradford Playhouse on the 15th and 19th of Feb.

If you’re interested in any aspect of the performance – and we’ll need backstage as well as acting, and there are opportunites for beginners – please contact us