Putney Theatre Company LogoGroup 64 Logo

Putney Arts Theatre Logo

Event Details

Audition: The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

  • 02/05/2021
  • 09/05/2021
  • 4 sessions
  • 02/05/2021, 11:00 13:00 (UTC+01:00)
  • 05/05/2021, 19:00 22:00 (UTC+01:00)
  • 08/05/2021, 14:00 16:00 (UTC+01:00)
  • 09/05/2021, 14:00 16:00 (UTC+01:00)
  • Putney Arts Theatre

 Audition details

Below are the audition details for Putney Theatre Company's production of The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Important notes

1) It is expected that most auditions will take place on the open-air dates below. However, if you are displaying any symptoms of infection, or if there are other unavoidable reasons why you cannot attend on these dates, a Zoom audition date has also been arranged.

2) Because no more than six people will be allowed to gather on the audition dates, you must arrange an audition slot by emailing PTCScandal@gmail.com. Although these are open auditions, it will not be possible to walk up and audition without an appointment.

Audition dates

Open-air auditions

  • Sunday 2 May, 11.00-13.00
  • Saturday 8 May, 14.00-16.00
  • Sunday 9 May, 14.00-16.00

Audition venue: Putney Old Burial Ground, 209B Upper Richmond Rd, Putney, London SW15 6SQ

Online auditions (Zoom)

Wednesday 5 May, 19.00-22.00

Production details

Performance space

Open air at Putney Old Burial Ground

Performance dates

  • Saturday 17 July, 3pm
  • Sunday 18 July, 3pm
  • Satruday 24 July, 3pm
  • Sunday 25 July, 3pm

Contact email


Rehearsal period

Rehearsals will take place on Zoom until 17 May (when restrictions allow up to 30 people to meet outside) and thereafter on weekday evenings (usually Monday-Thursday) from 19.00-21.00 at either Putney Old Burial Ground or on Putney Common (depending on access) and during the daytime on Saturdays and Sundays in Putney Old Burial Ground. Actors should expect to be called for two to four rehearsals a week. Some indoor rehearsals with a small group of up to six people may take place at Putney Arts Theatre when the weather is inclement. Recommended COVID-safe practices appropriate to the government alert level will be followed at all rehearsals.

The play

Think snark, trolling and fake news are innovations of the social media age? Think again. The London of Sheridan’s rollicking 18th-century comedy is awash with gossip, innuendo and muckraking. Devious influencer Lady Sneerwell, abetted by her spin-doctor, Snake, is orchestrating a whispering campaign against warm-hearted playboy, Charles Surface, seeking to discredit him in the eyes of Maria, wealthy ward of Sir Peter Teazle.

Meanwhile, rumour has it that Sir Peter’s marriage to his vivacious young wife is on the rocks, with the ink practically still wet on the licence. Will disgrace, dispossession, and divorce ensue? Or will Charles’s uncle Oliver, returned from abroad and carrying out undercover investigations, discover the truth in time? Putney Theatre Company presents an abridged, high-energy, modern dress version of this glorious classic in the open air.

This will be a fast-paced, energetic production with an emphasis on clear storytelling and entertainment, and we will look to discover the comedy in each scene with the aim of engaging a wide audience, including young people and those new to classic theatre. We will be performing it in modern dress, and the contemporary setting will feature modern technology, including smartphones. The text will be cut to keep the running time down to around 90 minutes.


Although the acting text that we will be working with will (mostly) preserve the play’s original 18th-century language, we will be aiming to create character types who are recognisable to a modern audience, rather than aping the manners of a bygone era. Because of the contemporary setting, many characters could be portrayed as either gender with minor changes to the script, and we anticipate a cast where at least half the characters are played by female actors. Roles that offer an obvious opportunity for male-to-female cross-casting are noted below as “M/F”, while others are noted as probably “F” (female) or “M” (male). However, this should not be regarded as inflexible. If it proved to be the most entertaining and effective casting combination, we could cast Joseph and Charles as women, while Maria is portrayed by a man, for example. We have not stipulated playing ages, except in some cases as “younger” (broadly 20s-30s) or “older” (broadly 40-plus) where the plot calls for a generational distinction. Please note that all roles could be played by an actor of any ethnicity. Some smaller roles may be doubled.

Sir Peter Teazle (M, older): A wealthy gentleman. A bachelor until comparatively late in life, he married a younger woman six months ago. While still desperately in love with her, he is driven to despair by their constant rowing. Guardian to Maria and formerly guardian to Charles and Joseph.

Lady Teazle (F, younger): Country-bred, she has quickly adopted the manners of the town, including its predilection for gossip. She chafes at the restraints placed on her by her older husband, but is still fond of him.

Charles Surface (M, younger): The younger Surface brother is profligate, and addicted to the high life, but also honest and warm-hearted. Charles has wasted his money and lives off the expectations of an inheritance from his uncle Oliver.

Joseph Surface (M): The older Surface brother is a greedy, manipulative hypocrite, posing as a morally upright “man of sentiment.” He conspires with Lady Sneerwell to slander Charles and prevent him from marrying Maria, whose fortune he covets. He also plans to seduce Lady Teazle.

Sir Oliver Surface (M/F, older): Returning after some years from conducting business abroad, Sir Oliver instinctively warms to Charles and mistrusts Joseph. He mounts an undercover investigation to discover his nephews’ real characters.

Maria (F, younger): Straightforward and kind, Maria is appalled by the gossips. Recently orphaned, she is heir to Sir Peter’s fortune, and is being wooed by Charles, Joseph and Sir Benjamin Backbite.

Rowley (M/F): A former employee and confidante of the Surface brothers’ deceased father. A logical thinker, he/she provides sensible advice and acts as a go-between in the Surface and Teazle family disputes.

Lady Sneerwell (F): Charming but venomous, she is one of London’s pre-eminent scandal-mongers, the centre of the web of gossip, and the driving force for much of the plot. In love with Charles.

Snake (M/F): Lady Sneerwell’s paid spin-doctor, PR person, or perhaps tabloid journalist, skilled in planting and disseminating false reports.

Sir Benjamin Backbite (M): A member of the fashionable set. Preening, two-faced Sir Benjamin thinks himself cool and witty, and spends his time penning poetic put-downs.

Mrs Candour (F): Lady Sneerwell’s sidekick is Queen of the humblebrag. She pretends to be generous and self-effacing while dispensing vicious innuendo.

Crabtree (M/F older): Uncle/aunt to Sir Benjamin. A purveyor of fake news who creates very elaborate and detailed false reports.

A number of smaller roles, including Charles’s servant, Trip, his friend, Careless, and a Moneylender, are likely to be doubled with other roles.

Please Note: We are committed to improving diversity in our casting and, unless stated for artistic reasons, we aim to actively adopt an inclusive casting policy. This is an amateur production. You do not need to be a member of PTC to audition but actors and crew will need to become members for £25 a year by direct debit, or £30 otherwise. A £20 show fee will also need to be paid by all actors in the production. We’d encourage you to become a member of PTC anyway, even if not cast. Our company is run by volunteers and we expect all actors cast in a play to do Front of House at least once a year. Our shows could not go up without our Front of House volunteers.

Audition preparation

To arrange an audition slot, please email PTCScandal@gmail.com

We will ask you for some personal details and to confirm any likely absences during the rehearsal period by email before your audition. On the day, please try to arrive around ten minutes before your scheduled slot.

Audition pieces will be emailed to you before the casting. You will be asked to prepare the speeches and dialogues appropriate to the character(s) for which you would like to read, although you are not expected to learn them.

For the open-air auditions we will be outside in a public park, so please wear clothes and shoes appropriate to the terrain and the weather. We will be looking for actors capable of making their performances carry above the usual ambient background noise of a London urban park, so you should aim for an audition that is clearly audible and bold, while remaining truthful and not stagy.


Opportunities available include:

  • Costume assistants
  • Make-up artists
  • Hair and wigs assistant
  • Assistant stage managers

Please email PTCScandal@gmail.com if you are interested in getting involved.

Photography on this website is provided by numerous members over the years. In particular we would like to thank: Ben Copping, Martin Jessop, Rich Evans and Steve Lippett who have contributed so much to capturing our productions in such amazing quality.

This website  was built using Wild Apricot by Digitommi Ltd.


Tel: 020 8788 6943
Charity No. 1157481

Privacy Policy    Terms & Conditions

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software