Nick Hern Books

ISBN: 978 1 85459 563 8
978 1 85459 564 5

Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 05 03 14

A very useful something for everyone.

Young student actors, whether they are at school, college or drama school, need to create a portfolio of audition pieces. This is where these two collections of monologues will come into their own.

Choosing audition pieces can be bewildering to young actors. There are so many factors to consider – do the pieces contrast? in period? are they comedic, tragic? and most importantly is it right for me? These books won’t resolve these questions entirely, but they will be a mighty big help.

Each of these books contains 50 potential audition speeches. Many are written as monologues or solo speeches, but editor, Trilby James, has cleverly merged some dialogue sections to create dynamic solo speeches – she has enabled herself to cast a wider net. All pieces have been written since 2000 and reflect the work of many of our major companies from a wide range of successful and popular playwrights. So something for everyone here.

No one should ever consider using a speech in an audition without reading the whole play. But for a training actor this is not enough. Trilby James rides to the rescue.

James is, herself, an actor, director and dramaturg. She parcels each extract up with enlightening notes. Some are obvious – ‘Who?’ and ‘To whom?‘ Some are less obvious ‘What has just happened?’ and ‘What s/he wants’ – we move into Uta Hagen territory! In addition . . . ‘Things to consider’ and ‘key words’. The serious young actor will be able to work with these and prepare an audition piece built on solid foundations.

For as far as auditions go – every little helps.

2014-03-05 16:53:26

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