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.


Introducing ‘A Splinter of Ice’ by Ben Brown, the Swan’s production for March 2024.
Directed by Robert Graydon
Production Dates: Monday 18th to Saturday 23rd March 2024
Reading Date: Tuesday 19th December at 7.30pm, in the Green Room of The Swan
Audition: Thursday 21st December at 7.30pm in the Green Room of The Swan.
Please note you must be a member of the Swan to audition.

If you are not able to make any of these dates, but are still interested, please let me know, as I would like to accommodate as many interested members as possible.


Moscow, 1987. The Cold War is coming to an end. In just 2 years the Berlin Wall will fall. In just 4 years, the Soviet Flag over the Kremlin will be lowered for the last time on Christmas Day. A Splinter of Ice imagines a conversation between the author Graham Greene and his former MI6 colleague, the Cambridge spy Kim Philby, when they met in Moscow for the first time in 30 years. We know that they were friends and we know that the meeting happened. The rest is pure dramatic supposition. To the zithering theme tune from The Third Man, he play bristles with questions and hypotheses. Was Philby the inspiration for the character of Harry Lime. Could he be tempted back to the UK if his safety were guaranteed? Why did Greene stand by Philby after his defection, when others repudiated him? A last chance for the 2 men to pick at the bones of Philby’s treachery; he will be dead in less than a year.

A lifelong interest in the Cold War drew me to this play – and it won’t be the first time we’ve aired this period on the Swan stage. In 2011 we presented Single Spies by Alan Bennett, a double bill depicting 2 other members of the Cambridge Spy Ring, Guy Burgess and Anthony Blunt. The 2 one-act plays have similar themes to A Splinter of Ice; and they are based on known relationships but with invented dialogue.


This is a challenging 3-hander with great scope for interesting characterisations. Greene and Philby are joined by Philby’s Russian third wife, Rufina. The ages of these real people are a matter of historical record and I won’t seek to be too rigid in casting, but they would all need to be of middle age or older with ideally an age gap between the Philbys.

Please try to make room in your busy pre-Christmas activities to come along to the reading. If you can’t make either date or would like to contact me beforehand please call on 07966 28848 or email

I look forward to seeing you at the reading.

Robert Graydon