Reading & Auditions

Swan Auditions

Readings and auditions take place at the Swan Theatre. Readings are open to all, members and non-members alike, and provide an excellent opportunity for members to introduce their friends to The Swan and all that we do.

Following a play reading, audition pieces are given out. If you wish to audition, you must first become a member of The Swan Theatre to demonstrate your commitment to the theatre. Please click here to join: . There are usually 2 audition dates, however if you are unable to make either date you may be able to arrange an alternative with the Director. Auditions are relaxed and fun and rarely involve the learning of an audition piece, although familiarity with it and some characterisation are expected. You will be informed as soon as possible if you have been successful in securing a part, usually once the whole play is cast.

It is not Swan policy to telephone people and invite them to audition so, if you would like to be in a show, please do come along to the reading and the auditions.

The rehearsal period is approximately 8 weeks of 2-3 rehearsals per week, although this may increase over the 2 weeks and the weekend preceding performance.

Double Bill: 'The Real Inspector Hound' and 'A Handbag'

‘The Real Inspector Hound’ by Tom Stoppard and ‘A Handbag’ by Anthony Horowitz, a double-bill of comedy

Directed by Mark and Judith Payne

Our July production is a comedy double bill designed to lift the spirits and enjoy an evening of laughter on a summers evening!

Production Dates: Monday 15th to Saturday 20th July 2024

Reading DateWednesday the 10th April at 7.30 in the Green Room of The Swan

Audition: Sunday 14th April at 2.30 in the Green Room and the Main Stage of The Swan. Note: the auditions for the two plays will run concurrently in two locations within the theatre so auditionees can move between them seamlessly.

You must be a member of the Swan to audition.

A Handbag by Anthony Horowitz, directed by Mark Payne


A group of young “inmates” all with degrees of mysterious and troubled pasts attempt to perform the Oscar Wilde classic “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Given they barely understand Victorian England, haven’t learnt their cues and can’t understand how a baby could survive in a handbag – it is unlikely to be an overwhelming success. And when their pasts begin to emerge the comedy suddenly takes a more serious turn,,,,

Anthony Horowitz wrote this short play for the National Theatre’s New Connections programme and was written to be performed by a group of younger actors, however the ages can be flexible.

The characters are:

Rose – plays Lady Bracknell. A conscience, but not the brightest spark in the building.

George – plays Jack Worthing. The leader of the group. Articulate.

Allan – play Algernon Moncrieff – largely self taught, with gaps

Specs – Stage Manager – short sighted with a stammer, but has his moment

Irene – plays Gwendolene – Glaswegian, tough

Kinsey – plays Lane – grew up with George.

The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, directed by Judith Payne


The Real Inspector Hound is a 1-Act comedy.  The plot follows two theatre critics who are watching the ‘play within a play’ – a ludicrous set-up of a country house murder mystery a la Agatha Christie.  By chance, they become involved in the action causing a series of events that parallel the play they are watching.  This play manages to parody both the murder mystery we all know and love and theatre critics!

The characters are:

There are 8 characters (and a body!)

Moon and BIrdboot          Both theatre critics; m; 40-65; Both men are a bit world-weary and cynical, though Birdboot is happier with life and enjoys its pleasure more.

Characters in the ‘play’:

Mrs Drudge                             The Housekeeper; f; 40-65;  A calm, occasionally observant member of staff who works at Muldoon Manor

Lady Cynthia Muldoon            f; 30-45; A passionate and alluring woman who is devoted to her missing husband.

Simon Gascoyne:                   m; 30-45; A womanising shifty man who mysteriously enters Muldoon Manor

Felicity Cunningham               f; 20s;  An attractive, fiery young woman who is hurt by Simon Gascoyne’s reaction

Magnus Muldoon                    m; 50-70; A grumpy old man in a wheelchair. He eventually reveals himself to be the detective Inspector Hound

Inspector Hound                     m; 40-65; A comically incompetent police inspector seeking a murderer.

You may audition for one short play or both. Depending on numbers we may cast you in each play or just in one.

If you are not able to make any of these dates, but are still interested, please let us know, as we would like to accommodate as many interested members as possible. Please contact us to tell us that you are interested, or if you have any questions. email us at:

We look forward to seeing you at the reading.

Mark and Judith Payne