Auditions for Murder on the Orient Express
AUDITIONS - Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express
Audition Dates: Sept 6 & 7, 2021
Performance Dates: Nov 12-14; 19-21
Auditions will consist of improvisation and readings from the script. Actors will be expected to bring on the accents for whichever character(s) that they are interested in. Those auditioning for Hercule Poirot should do their homework into this iconic character i.e. Agatha Christie, not Hollywood.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks
somewhere in the forests of Yugoslavia. The luxurious train is surprisingly
full for the time of the year, but by the morning, it is one passenger fewer.
An American lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective
Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – before he or she decides to
If you’re used to stodgy adaptations of Agatha Christie mysteries, with
a lot of monologues and extensive exposition, this is not one of those
adaptations. In a script that reads like it ought to be a film, Ken Ludwig
has distilled one of Christie’s most famous stories down to an exciting,
fast-paced story full of memorable characters — all confined within
one of the most challenging sets we’ve attempted in years.
Male presenting, 40-65, Belgian accent, any ethnicity
Iconic character. Agatha Christie’s most famous detective. Poirot is
fastidious, thorough, a touch ridiculous, and incredibly observant and intelligent. He is both arrogant and humble to fault. He is an observer of people, astute at analyzing why people behave as they
do, and firmly believes that most crimes can be solved primarily by observation, psychology, and thinking them through. He values intelligence and the rule of law above all else.
Male presenting, 40-65, Belgian accent, any ethnicity
The owner of Wagon Lit, Orient Express. Bouc is a middle-aged man with a youthful vigor and attitude. Gregarious, honest and forthright, he puts his friends and customers above profit, although he is concerned about his company's image. He is not a match for
Poirot in intelligence, however.
Female presenting, mid 20s-30s, English (standard) accent, any ethnicity
A governess. Anxious, but also cool and determined, Mary has a certain sadness about her, as well as many secrets. She is carrying on a secret affair with Colonel Arburthnot. Must be comfortable kissing on stage.
Male presenting, 30s, Scottish accent, any ethnicity.
A military man of the old fashioned type, possibly old-money, and used to being obeyed without question. He is strong, charismatic, but also problematic in some of his personal views. Has a temper. Must be comfortable kissing on stage.
Male presenting, 23-35, American accent (any), any ethnicity
Personal assistant and secretary to Samuel Ratchett, McQueen is a
nervous character with a stutter that appears when he is especially
anxious. Seems rather new to his profession. Talks a bit too much.
Male presenting, 40s, French accent, any ethnicity
Competent and organized, Michel is the conductor for the first class
carriages of the Orient Express. Handles himself well in a crisis, and
is very good at his job.
NOTE: This actor will double as the Head Waiter of the Tokatilian Hotel,
and will also need to be able to do a Turkish accent.
Female presenting, 60s-70s, Russian accent, any ethnicity
Displaced Russian nobility. The Princess is a battleship: determined,
arrogant, and accustomed to getting her way. She travels a great
deal, and holds very decided opinions.
Female presenting, 30s, Swedish* accent, any ethnicity
A Catholic missionary and baby nurse, currently serving as a companion to Princess Dragomiroff. She would like to help small children in Africa. Deeply devout. This character may be funny, but should not be played as a caricature for laughs.
*Note: As written, the character is Swedish with somewhat broken
English, but we will also consider actresses who have accents other
than English or Swedish (Spanish, Italian, etc.).
Female presenting, 25-35, Hungarian accent, any ethnicity
In addition to being married to a count (and thus, nobility), she also
is a doctor. Beautiful, educated, charming, and intelligent enough to
match wits with Poirot. Must also be able to do an American accent.
Female presenting, 45-60, American accent (any, possibly Wisconsin?),
Not exactly what she seems, Hubbard comes across as a gregarious,
loud, obnoxious American busybody who has been married multiple
times. Must be able to sing and do a little dancing. Should also be able to pull off a cooler, more calculated version of this character with a very standard or even cultured American accent.
Male presenting, 35-50, American accent (mobster - possibly Brooklyn
or Chicago style)
A dangerous and unlikable man, full of entitlement, with a hair
trigger temper. Must have a forceful personality, and come across
as someone not to be trusted or crossed. As the murder victim, this
actor may be required to remain on stage and still for an extended
period of time. Efforts will be made to ensure comfort.
Accent/dialect work is important in this show, and we want to see your
best attempt at the correct accent for each character. Perfection isn’t
needed, we just want to see how well you can attempt it. You may be
asked to perform the scene with and without the accents, so we can
judge acting ability.
Your ability to do the accent is more important than whether or not
you look like a stereotypical Russian/Scotsman/Belgian, etc.
Some age flexibility is possible, with the following exceptions:
• Michel must be believably old enough to have an adult child.
• Helen Hubbard must be believably old enough to have an adult
child in their mid-late 20’s.
Arts Center of Kershaw County
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