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When & Where

Ladies in Black is the next show being produced by Wellington Repertory Theatre, early in 2020.  And the good news is…audition dates have now been set!

When:  December 15th, 9:30am – 5:00pm,  December 16th 5:30pm – 10:00pm

Where:  Toi Poneke, Abel Smith St, Wellington

Production:  March 28th – April 9th, Gryphon Theatre


Ladies in Black is based on the 1993 novel The Women in Black by Madeleine St John.  It is a ‘coming of age’ musical set in 1959 in the department store “Goodes”.

A shy teenager joins the staff of the women’s clothing department. Each staff member is on the precipice of change – facing independence, working for a living and what it means to be a woman.

The Age described Ladies in Black as “probably the best Aussie musical since Priscilla went global.” It wrote “Tim Finn’s songs range from Broadway-inspired numbers to true blue ballads, from witty patter songs to shares of blues and jazz standards. They’re beautifully integrated with the dramatic action, and the comic lyrics are priceless.”


The musical will be directed by Sandy Brewer, with Sue Windsor as Musical Director, Clinton Meneses as Choreographer and Jen Pearce as Production Manager.  There will be a range of other crew roles to fill – including Set Design & Build, Props, Wardrobe (and what a wardrobe it needs to be!!) and Publicity/media support.


Note – while there are plenty of opportunities to play multiple roles (as described below), the nature of how roles are cast will be at the discretion of the Director.

Lisa 16 (indicative age only). A thin, shy bookworm, who is described as having neither style nor beauty, yet emerges with both at the end of the story. Highly intelligent, and desperate to learn more about literature, her holiday job at Goodes teaches her more about life than she could have imagined.
Myra/Dawn A double for a woman in her mid to late twenties. Myra is Fay’s best friend – buxom, cheerful and out for a good time.
Dawn is Patty’s sister – forthright, cynical and rough round the edges.
Patty 32 year old (indicative age only), unhappily married shop assistant at Goodes. She has failed to have a baby and her husband is chronically uncommunicative, so she has become stitched up and a little malicious as a result. Underneath she is vulnerable and unhappy.
Frank Patty’s 35-40 year old husband (indicative age only). Described by others as ‘gormless’ Frank is a tile salesman with little ambition or vitality. Humiliated by his potential responsibility for his childless marriage, he hides his low self esteem in taciturn introspection.
Magda An exotic Hungarian of about 40 (indicative age only). In charge of Model Gowns at Goodes, she is the embodiment of European style, glamorous, educated and beautifully presented. While undoubtedly somewhat forbidding, she has warmth, wit and great insight.
Rudi/Lloyd/Fred Potentially all played by one actor in his mid to late 30s (indicative age only). Lloyd and Fred are two Australian men on the look-out for a good time.
Rudi is Hungarian refugee on the look-out for a wife. He is charming, well-read, irrepressible, a beautiful dancer and a genuine lover of women.
 Mrs Miles Lisa’s mother, in her late 30’s or 40’s (indicative age only). She dotes on her daughter, is proud of her and wants the best for her, but is nervous of rocking the boat and upsetting her conservative husband. A product of her era, she is neither educated nor sophisticated, but her love for her daughter ultimately gives her courage.
Miss Cartright/Joy A potential double for an actress of about 40 (indicative age only).

Miss Cartright is the blue-stocking, crisply authoritative manager of the Ladies Department at Goodes. Ideally tall and definitely stylish, she is all business, having dedicated her life to it, but is not without compassion or wit.

Joy is Patty’s older sister. Exhausted by motherhood and housework, she doesn’t live up to her name.

Miss Jacobs/Mrs Crown A potential double for an actress in her 60’s (indicative age only). Miss Jacobs has worked in Goodes her whole life. Nervous and intense, she lives alone and has a sense of tragedy about her.  Mrs Crown is Patty’s mother. Now widowed, she is a rough diamond who has brought up three daughters and doesn’t beat around the bush.
Fay 29 year old shop assistant at Goodes (indicative age only). Pretty and cheerful, but has had a series of unfortunate relationships with unsuitable men, so she feels insecure about ever getting married and being considered respectable.
Mr Miles/Stefan These two roles can be played by one actor. Both are in their 40’s (indicative age only). Mr Miles is stiff, conservative and authoritarian. He loves his daughter but firmly believes a woman’s place is in the home and is baffled by her intellect and ambition.
Stefan is an ebullient Hungarian intellectual and bon vivant. He is a passionate enthusiast for all things literary.