What The Butler Saw Casting

London Classic Theatre is casting for its 2024 National Tour of What The Butler Saw by Joe Orton.

This manic farce and masterclass in fearless comic writing will be visiting 16 venues over 14 weeks. The production will open at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne, before touring to a range of first-class venues, including Malvern Theatres, Perth Theatre, Theatre Royal Bath, Haymarket Basingstoke, Derby Theatre, Blackpool Grand Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, Darlington Hippodrome, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds and the New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Within the pristine walls of his private psychiatric clinic, Doctor Prentice is interviewing a new secretary. Geraldine Barclay wants the position but seems underqualified and uncertain about her parentage. Mrs Prentice appears, flushed and in urgent need of a drink, following an illicit encounter with Nick Beckett, blackmailer and bell boy at the Station Hotel. In the meantime, Doctor Rance, a Government Inspector and Sergeant Match, a policeman, arrive amidst increasing chaos with searching questions of their own.

What The Butler Saw is Joe Orton’s final, most ambitious play. No institution, political view or tradition is safe, as Orton focuses his wicked sense of humour on a range of targets, including the establishment, an ex-Prime Minister, cross-dressing, misogyny and the medical profession. He brings together an array of distinctive characters, placing them in a series of improbable situations, unflinchingly exploring comic territory few playwrights before or since have dared to visit.

John Kingsley (Joe) Orton, playwright, author and diarist was born in Leicester in 1933. During a short, but dazzling career in the London theatre world, he shocked, outraged, and delighted audiences with his riotous black comedies, including Loot, The Erpingham Camp and Entertaining Mr Sloane. Joe Orton was tragically battered to death by his lover, Kenneth Halliwell, in 1967.

Artistic Director Michael Cabot is looking for committed, enthusiastic actors with strong stage presence and a wholly professional attitude.

Salary as follows: Rehearsals – £450 per week. Tour – £560 per week. All travel and accommodation during the performance period will be arranged by the company.

LCT is based in Whyteleafe, Surrey. Please note, the company rehearses in Whyteleafe/Caterham (Zone 6). Due to the nature of our touring model, it is essential that our actors have a London base. Please note this is not an Equity contract. No travelling expenses will be paid during rehearsals and no relocation expenses are available. Holiday pay is included in the stated salary. LCT do not operate PAYE.

Production dates:
Rehearsal Dates: 2 – 19 April (3 weeks, including both middle Saturdays)
Tour Dates: 24 April – 27 July (14 weeks)
Director: Michael Cabot
Producer/Casting Director: Kathryn Cabot
Casting will take place during w/c 15 January and w/c 22 January 2024 at LCT HQ in Whyteleafe, Surrey.
Deadline for submissions: Friday 5 January at 6pm.

Please note the role of DR PRENTICE has been cast and the role of MRS PRENTICE is currently under offer.


DR RANCE (Male, 45–60 years)
Doctor Rance is described as a representative of Her Majesty’s Government, working at the behest of ‘the Commissioners’. Like Dr Prentice, he has a medical background, but now works as an inspector of psychiatric institutions. He is authoritarian, officious and verbose. Very much a force to reckoned with, Dr Rance is a man who believes absolutely in his own view of the world, however absurd.

GERALDINE BARCLAY (Female, 20–25 years)
In her early twenties, Geraldine Barclay is a young woman applying for the job of Dr Prentice’s secretary. She is honest and trusting, in many ways an innocent abroad. While she lacks some of the necessary skills for the role, she has a fair amount of confidence and personality . There is some uncertainty about her parentage, which is key to the overall plot and as the play progresses, she becomes a victim of the unravelling chaos. Good comic instincts essential. Please note that this role features partial nudity, which will be handled in a sensitive manner.

NICHOLAS BECKETT (Male, 20–25 years)
Nick works as a page boy at the Station Hotel. He is Geraldine’s twin brother, something they both only discover at the end of the play. Also interested in the role of Dr Prentice’s secretary, he is an accomplished typist and blackmailer, with an insatiable sexual appetite. He is quick-witted and unscrupulous, lacking any moral compass and keen to advance himself in any way possible. Good comic instincts essential. Please note that this role features partial nudity, which will be handled in a sensitive manner.

SERGEANT MATCH (Male, 30–60 years)
Sergeant Match is a policeman who arrives at the clinic searching for Nick and Geraldine. He has reason to believe both have been involved in some kind of criminal activity. He is polite, methodical and tries to follow the rules, but is hindered by an increasingly bizarre set of circumstances. He inadvertently takes an overdose of pills and finds himself in a drugged stupor. He survives a gunshot wound and revives sufficiently to resume his duties, albeit wearing a leopard-print dress.

In the first instance, casting will be through Spotlight, but we are also accepting independent submissions from actors who are not currently represented. Applicants should email a CV and headshot, with a brief introduction, explaining their interest in the project to Kathryn Cabot, Producer – kathryn@londonclassictheatre.co.uk

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