Auditions for our October production of “Animal Farm”

This is a play by former UK National Theatre Director Peter Hall of George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” with music, directed by Barry Mawer to be staged in Eastbourne in late October.

The play, with lyrics by Adrian Mitchell and music by Richard Peaslee, was first performed at the UK National Theatre in 1984, and is very faithful to the book. There is lots of action with all of the characters. It’s a play with music rather than a musical. The songs contrast with, and complement, the rapidly moving sequence of events. However this is very much a play for actors who can sing, rather than singers who can act. It is definitely not the usual musical theatre.

There are some wonderful characters ranging from Napoleon the pig ( a Stalin figure) to Molly the foolish horse.

The auditions for the main characters will be held on Sunday 19 July from 2 to 5 pm in the Muritai School Hall. Please contact Barry on 021685976 for an audition slot. Alternatively email Barry on

There will also be a group session for children (9 and over) at 2pm on Sunday  26th July  for those who would like to be part of the ‘animal chorus’ of small animals, and some small speaking roles.

The nature of the animals will be suggested by the actors by movement rather than by using lifelike costumes; I’m planning to dress the actors mostly in black with a simple 1/3 face mask that merely suggests the animal, while leaving the eyes and mouth free to enable full expression.


All cast members must be capable of lying down on the stage and getting up again unaided! They should have the stamina and concentration to remain on stage throughout the performance. The ensemble will join in at times with many of the solo songs, and there are about 10 ensemble songs.

I’ve given a reference to the character Orwell was probably thinking of when including a character.

The Boy/Stable lad/lass – Must possess an unbroken voice – should be well spoken and look about nine years of age. Should be able to sing in tune.

Mr. Jones – (The Romanov Tsars). Must be capable of acting and singing convincingly in a drunken manner. Has an unaccompanied solo song, so any voice.

Old Major  – a large, old pig (Marx, Engels and Lenin). Although at the end of his life, his convictions are still strong and he conveys them with charisma. Has an important song, some of which could be spoken, but ideally this actor should be able to sing. (He will re-appear in another role after his death) Baritone/high bass.

Boxer – a huge cart horse. A very sympathetic, ‘salt of the earth’ character who believes that ‘Napoleon is always right’, and that all problems can be overcome by working harder. He should be youngish to middle-aged, and look like a strong chap. He has a solo song. Bass.

Clover   – a motherly mare. An honest, caring and sympathetic character who shares a song with Muriel. MUST BE ABLE TO STICK TO HER OWN MELODY LINE! Alto.

Muriel   – a goat. One of the more educated of the animals, she is bright and shrewd. She shares a song with Clover and MUST BE ABLE TO STICK TO HER OWN MELODY LINE TOO! Soprano.

Benjamin  – an old donkey. A grumpy old man who has seen it all before. He is literate but largely keeps this fact to himself.

Mollie   – a foolish, pretty mare. A shallow, vain, silly young bimbo who has a perhaps the most tuneful and delightful song in the score. An airhead. Alto.

Snowball  – a young, vivacious boar (Trotsky). A young energetic, idealistic, enthusiastic and charismatic character who is a natural leader. Sings on his own. (This actor will play another role in Act 2) Baritone/tenor.

Napoleon – a boar of deep character (Stalin). A pig of, initially, few words who comes to exert a frightening hold over the animals. Has a big, drunken show- bizzy song. Bass.

Squealer  – a porker (Stalin’s propagandist). A two-faced, scheming, highly articulate spokesperson who always smiles, but never with his/her eyes and could argue black is white. This role could be played by either gender. Sings on his/her own. Tenor/soprano.

The Cat – a selfish individual. Tiny role possibly doubling. Part to be allocated.

Moses   – a tame raven. An over the top American Evangelical approach needed for this role. He has to sing (or speak/sing) solo. (This actor will return in another role.) Baritone/high bass.

Minimus – a pig with a gift for composing songs and poems. An artistic type who thinks his/her verse is rather better than it is. Another role which could be played by either gender. Low bass/alto.

Supporting roles which may be doubled as necessary:

Three young pigs – Intellectually superior to the other animals and do they know it.

Four sheep            – Not the brightest creatures on the farm – need a leader.

Three cows           – Pretty laid-back most of the time, but they have their moments.

Two hens (hopefully more)          They have a terrific protest song and are the first animals prepared to die for their beliefs when they sense the pigs have gone too far.

A Bull    – Meets a brutal end not unlike his relatives in Spain, however not at the hands of humans.

Two pigeons      – Animal Farm’s internet.

Mr. Whymper    – A two-faced trader who conspires with Napoleon to dupe the animals.

Mr. Pilkington    – Another drunken human. Baritone.

Dogs, Farmers, other men and animals






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