Towards Zero


Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

Please read carefully all the details. Please do not audition if you have significant clashes with the rehearsals or any clashes with performances. Every effort will be made minimise your rehearsal load. If you are unsure whether unavailability will be an issue please check first by emailing the director, Becky Sweet:

Director: Becky Sweet        Production Dates: 21st-28th June 2019

Performance Schedule: 10 performances, including Saturday matinees. Sunday off.

Rehearsal Dates:  Beginning the week of the May 6th. Rehearsals are usually 7-10pm Mon-Fri.

Audition Dates: 
First Round:
Option A: Monday 7th January at 7pm
Option B: Wednesday 9th January at 7pm
Call back: Sunday 13th January at 2pm

Audition Format: Reading extracts from the play, these will be provided in advance

How to sign-up: Please download and complete the standard Auditions Submission Form here.

The completed form should be returned as an attachment to Director of Productions at The Maddermarket Theatre, Jez Pike at

Your information will then be processed, stored and distributed in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The director of the production will then contact you via email to arrange an audition slot.

Scans of the audition extracts can be emailed to you. Alternatively, hard copies can be picked up from the theatre office (10.30am-6pm, Mon-Fri). In addition, a scan of the script may be requested by email, or alternatively a reading copy is available at the theatre office to read on-site.

Please note that auditionees must complete an ‘Auditions Submission Form’ prior to auditioning, even if have had existing contact with or made informal arrangements with the director of that production.

About the Play

In the 1940’s, when a house party gathers at the clifftop home of Lady Tressilian, Neville Strange finds himself caught between his first wife Audrey and his new wife Kay.  The play probes the psychology of narcissism in the shadow of a savage and brutal murder with reflections on jealousy, suicide and depression. Ages are flexible to some extent and will depend on suitable pairings.

The script refers to cigarette smoking which will be deleted, however, Thomas will smoke a pipe or at least ‘play’ with it.

This is not the Christie/Verner adaptation of the novel. This is Christie’s original 1944 adaptation which was discovered in her papers and published in 2017.

Cast Breakdown

Female Characters

MacGREGOR (f) Stern Scottish maid, 60+    43 lines

KAY STRANGE (f) playing age, 20’s, glamourous, gold digging trophy wife.    321 lines

LADY TRESSILIAN (f) 60+ Aristocrat, autocratic, thorny exterior, perceptive interior. Loyal. Uses a wheelchair. Doesn’t appear after the interval.    168 lines

JANET COLLIER (COLLIE) (f) Kind, fussy, middle-aged companion.    156 lines

AUDREY STRANGE (f) playing age 30’s. A quiet attractive woman. Rather still and self-contained. Not quite normal in her manner.     272 lines

Male Characters

O’DONNELL (m) Irish butler, 60+ 
Uses caricature Irish phrases which will be cut unless the actor wants to play them self-mockingly. He is grumpy, perceptive, intelligent and loyal. ‘Enjoys’ a long-standing power battle with MacGregor.   125 lines

THOMAS ROYDE (m) mid-thirties to mid-forties
Solid, tanned, plantation owner in Malaya. Confirmed pipe smoking bachelor, although, he seems to love Audrey.    198 lines

NEVILLE STRANGE (m) playing age early 30’s. Athletic Wimbledon level tennis player, swimmer, golfer and narcissist.    397 lines

ANGUS McWHIRTER (m) Scottish playing age 30’s/40’s. Good looking and solemn.    264 lines

PETER DA COSTA (m) playing age 20s to mid-thirties. A Gigolo. Described by the inspector as a “most beautiful young man”.    130 lines

INSPECTOR LEACH (m) 30- 60 First appearance after interval. Opportunity for some creative characterisation. Not stupid but, doesn’t identify the murderer correctly. Perhaps tweedy, landed gentry type clothing to accompany a somewhat pompous presentation.    385 lines

SERGEANT HARVEY 25- 60 (m) First appearance after interval. Opportunity for some creative characterisation.    34 lines

DR. WILSON 30- 60 (m) First appearance after interval. Opportunity for some creative characterisation.
72 lines