SLT Audition

Auditions for Woyzeck

By Georg Bȕchner

Audition one

Date: 12 Jun 2022

Time: 10:00 - 13:00

Location: South London Theatre at the Old Fire Station, West Norwood

Audition two

Date: 13 Jun 2022

Time: 20:00 - 22:00

Location: South London Theatre at the Old Fire Station, West Norwood

Plagued by haunting voices and a paranoid fear of conspiracy, Franz Woyzeck is a man trying to make sense of things and failing. Struggling to make ends meet, he lends his body to medical experimentation. But his distrust and anger spirals until, in an attempt to make the real and imagined voices stop for good, he takes a knife…

Woyzeck is a story about ordinary people in difficult circumstances who have to find their own moral compass and way in the world. It has a lower class “hero” who is also the villain of the piece and all of the “better classes” are shown to be lacking in morals or basic humanity. It touches on anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, oppression of the lower classes, and self-righteousness of the upper classes – it could almost be a commentary on post-Brexit Britain.

Woyzeck is probably the most modern early 19th-century play you will read. It’s almost proto-Brechtian. As a play, it’s a compelling mixture of naturalism and expressionism, with surreal elements and dark humour. And it’s based on a true story.

Director: John Irvine

Performances: 13 - 17 Sep 2022

First Rehearsal: 3 Jul 2022


Woyzeck: 28-38, male. Soldier, with additional duties as batman to the Captain. Struggling with life. An outsider, never quite fitting in. Haunted, harried, clearly ill, and getting worse.

Andres: 25-30, Fellow soldier. Closest thing to a friend for Woyzeck. Strangely detached from his friend’s suffering.

Marie: 25-30, female. Woyzeck’s “common-law wife” (girlfriend) and mother of his child.

Drum-Major: 25-35, male. Specially privileged senior N.C.O, used as a mascot and for recruitment purposes, chosen for physique, splendidly uniformed; excused normal duties. A man’s man, full of spunk.

The Captain: 30-40, male. The regiment’s captain for whom Woyzeck acts as batman. Represents the upper/landed classes.

The Doctor: 40-60, male. A local doctor who also acts as the regimental medical officer. Obsessed with making a name for himself, although time is slipping by. Conducts experiments on Woyzeck. Represents the middle/professional classes.

Policeman: 30-60, male. The village constable. Trying to maintain peace and order as best he can. He doesn’t make the rules – he just enforces them.

Margaret: 40-60, female. Marie’s neighbour. Older, more worldly-wise. She’s seen it all before. Disapproves of Marie’s lifestyle, but helps out with her child as a “good neighbour”. Might be doubled with the old woman.

Showman: From the travelling fair. All the world’s a stage, etc. Showman by name, showman by nature. Accompanied by a very smart horse.

Sergeant: Associate of the Drum-Major. Thick as thieves with him.

1st Journeyman (Johann): One of two artisans beyond apprenticeship – recently qualified, pockets full of cash, and out for a good time

2nd Journeyman (Christian): One of two artisans beyond apprenticeship – recently qualified, pockets full of cash, and out for a good time

Jewish shopkeeper: A shopkeeper who sells Woyzeck a knife. A persecuted and downtrodden individual who can still look down on Woyzeck.

Grandmother: Old woman with a strange tale for children. Might be doubled with Margaret.

Ensemble: Various townspeople, fairground performers, university students, children, soldiers and musicians

Buchner died at the age of 23 before he could finish the play and left four incomplete versions, which have been adapted and reworked by countless editors and directors ever since. Now it’s our turn. This is our version and we will adapt the text to suit the cast, while remaining true to Buchner’s’ vision.

All ages are for guidance only. I will consider female actors for male parts and vice versa, but the characters will not change: eg. Woyzeck is a male character but could be played by a female actor or an actor who does not identify as specifically male. With the exception of Woyzeck, the entire cast will be an ensemble “stepping into” various roles as necessary. There are also opportunities for actors to be part of the ensemble, but have no speaking parts, if they wish.

Woyzeck Poster, an emaciated man