Taking Steps

Taking Steps by Alan Ayckbourn


Please read carefully all the details, in particular rehearsal dates. Please do not audition if you have significant clashes with the rehearsal or performance period. If you are unsure whether unavailability will be an issue please check first by emailing jez.pike@maddermarket.org

Director: Jude Wyatt           Production Dates:  21 July – 29 July (matinees on 22 & 29)

Rehearsal Dates:  From Mon 5 June. Four to five weekday evenings per week. Cast will be given schedule indicating rehearsals they are called for.


1st Round:

Wed 22nd March: 5.30-9.30pm

Sun 26th March: 10am-1.30pm


Recalls: Sat 1st April: 10-1.30

Please note all auditionees must in principle be able to make the recall date.

If you are absolutely not able to make an audition date but want to be seen please still email jez.pike@maddermarket.org


How to sign-up:This can be done either via email or by coming into the theatre office.


Coming in: Sign-up on the sheet specifying which part you would like to be considered for. Choose your preferred first round audition date, and then you will be contacted with an allotted time slot. Extracts to prepare for each part can be collected from the office. A reading copy of the play will also be available.


By email: Email jez.pike@maddermarket.org specifying all of the following information:


‘Name’ ‘Phone number’ ‘Email address’ ‘Which part you would like to audition for’ and ‘Preferred first round audition date’. Please also specify whether you would like to be emailed a scanned copy of the relevant extract and/or the script. If you don’t specify these requests in your emailed it will be assumed you are collecting hard copies from the office. 


About the Play

‘A riotously funny farce’ – Michael Billington (The Guardian)

Regarded by the playwright as his only ‘true farce’ and indebted to the master of the genre Ben Travers, Taking Steps is Ayckbourn at his most ingenious and technically dazzling.

Roland, a hard-working tycoon is considering buying an old Victorian House, once a brothel. His soliciter, and  the vendor arrive to complete the deal. Also in the house are his wife, a frustrated dancer who is always condisering leaving him, her brother, called in by her to assist over this step, - and alter- the brother’s fiancée, who is equally uncertain whether or not to run away. In the course of one hectic night and morning, with continual running up and downstairs and in and out of rooms, these characters – each immersed in his or her own problem – try to sort themselves out.

Cast Breakdown: 6 (4m), (2f)

ELIZABETH: [Playing age late 20’s-mid 30’s] Extremely neurotic. Very liberated. Refuses to be known as ‘Mrs’. Refuses to accept help from men. Former ballet dancer, now in perpetual indecision about whether to leave her husband. Character does ‘the splits’. Actor with some dance experience highly beneficial.

ROLAND: [Playing age 40’s] Her husband. An arch-chauvinist. Rich. Bullying. Alcoholic. Used to getting his own way. Carries all before him except Elizabeth. Slightly mad. Made his fortune in buckets.

MARK: [Playing age early-mid 30’s] Elizabeth's brother, attempting to save his one-sided relationship to Kitty and fulfil his dream of opening a fishing tackle shop People fall asleep when he starts talking for long. Likes to discuss his own particular problems.

TRISTRAM: [Playing age 20’s] Roland's solicitor; inarticulate and unassertive; unwittingly causes absolute havoc. Very anxious to fall in with Roland’s wishes. Very shy of women. They render him speechless. The unlikely ‘hero’ of the play.

KITTY: [Playing age mid-late 20’s] Arm-twisted into engagement with Mark; having left him at the altar once, she has been persuaded to come back to him after her arrest for suspected solicitation; feels trapped into always being part of other people's dreams (including Mark's fishing tackle shop)

LESLIE: [Playing age late 30’s to early 40’s] Dodgy builder. Jovial schemer. On the bring financially, desperate to sell the house (currently rented) to Roland. Married. Gallant to the ladies. Patronising.