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Auditions for Murder on the Orient Express

Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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.

 

PLOT:

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

strike again.

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.

CHARACTERS:

HERCULE POIROT

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.

 

MONSIEUR BOUC

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.

 

MARY DEBENHAM

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.

 

COLONEL ARBUTHNOT

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.

 

HECTOR MCQUEEN

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.

 

MICHEL

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.

 

PRINCESS DRAGOMIROFF

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.

 

GRETA OHLSSON

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.).

 

COUNTESS ANDRENYI

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.

 

HELEN HUBBARD

Female presenting, 45-60, American accent (any, possibly Wisconsin?),

any ethnicity

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.

 

SAMUEL RATCHETT

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.

Regarding ages

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.

 

 

Free to audition

 

 

Location

Arts Center of Kershaw County

Fee or Admissions Info

Free

Contact Phone Number

803-425-7676

Contact Email Address

skeel@fineartscenter.org

Website

www.fineartscenter.org