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AUDITIONS: our man in havana

Directed by Pam Browne

Auditions will be held at HLT on February 12, from 10.00am.

Graham Greene’s best-selling novel is a farcical story that pokes fun at the gullibility and paranoia of the British Secret Service during the Cold War. It was made into a very successful film, starring Alec Guinness, in 1959. The story is set in 1950s, pre-revolutionary Cuba, which is run by a despot, Batista, and with the strong presence of the American mafia and supported by the US as part of the Cold War with the then USSR. Havana is a cosmopolitan city of the rich and poor. In this fast society we find Jim Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman. He is desperately in need of money -- his spoilt teenage daughter’s happiness his objective. When approached by the British Secret Service, he is persuaded to become agent 59200 (Greene’s own number when he worked for MI6).

This play was originally written to be played by four actors taking on multi-role parts. This can become frantic and in reviews, this has been commented on. I have decided that most of the key roles will be played by individual actors, with additionally four multi-role parts, each of these with an outstanding character.


• Jim Wormold: male, 40s appearance. The acting challenge here is for an actor who maintains a strong, stage presence without ‘playing up’. His ability to be imaginative comes as a surprise, even to him. British accent.

• Milly, his daughter: Female, looking 17. Attractive and pushing towards womanhood, but knows how to play ‘daddy’s little girl’ when it suits her. British accent.

• Beatrice: Female, 40s appearance. A confident (but not strident) woman from the office of the Security Services. Almost the antithesis of Jim, but opposites attract! British accent.

• Dr Hasselbacher: 50-60s appearance. A bit of a mystery. Is he what he seems? But a friend of Jim’s through their relaxed meetings in the bar. Slight hint of German in his accent.

• Hawthorne: 30s+ appearance. A very stereotypical Home Office-type, a “trained” spy, anxious to please the ‘Chief’ back in London. To progress in his career, his agent has to deliver the goods. Very 1950s British accent (Eton and Bullingdon Club!).

• Narrator 1: Male 30- 40s appearance. A multi-role part, but importantly plays Captain Segura, a policeman, vain, cruel but with a very soft spot for Milly. Slight Latin American accent for this character.

• Narrator 2: Male 30+. A multi-role part, including ‘Carter’, working for the other side.

• Narrator 3: Male 20+. A multi-role part, including ‘Lopez’ (Cuban) and ‘The Chief’ (London).

• Narrator 4: Female 20+. A multi-role part including The Queen and a stripper!

Scripts are available from the office, 534 1406, or info@hlt.org.nz

Rehearsals will be Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.30pm and on Sundays at 2.00pm.

First rehearsal, March 19. My strong preference is for actors who are prepared to work towards being off script by the first rehearsal. Blocking will be largely organic and based on the actors’ development of character and relationships.

Performances May 6-27 (16 performances)


Set Designer:

Sound Design: Rhys Owen

Lighting Design:

Rehearsal Prompt:

Stage Manager:

Production Co-ordinator:

Backstage Assistant:

Lighting/Sound Operators:




Thank you for reading to the end of this notice.

I am excited about this play. The crew will support actors with the creation of the atmosphere of Havana, where anything can happen. My own experience in a variety of roles at HLT has been challenging and always happy.

I am happy to answer any enquiries from actors and crew, at any time. Initially, email contact is best to pam@picton.net


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