Festen – Audition


By David Eldridge

Date & Time: 18-22 October 2016

7:30pm (2:30pm matinee, Saturday 22 October)

Venue: Mathematical Institute, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

Directors: Alex Coke and Justine Malone

Oxford Theatre Guild is delighted to present audition details for this darkly funny play, adapted from Thomas Vinterborg's screenplay of the very successful film of the same name.

We welcome all to our open auditions. Rehearsals will start with a read-through in July, continuing with three rehearsals a week from mid-August (on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons). We‘ll need firm information about who will be away and when so that we can construct a rehearsal schedule which makes the best use of everyone’s time. In addition to attendance at rehearsals, we expect all cast and crew to be involved in publicising the play as well as helping with set-up and take-down of the show.

Please read all the information we have provided about the production and auditions by following the links below. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact the director at alexandra_coke@hotmail.co.uk.

About the play

On the 60th birthday of patriarch Helge, the whole family gathers in a hotel to celebrate.

Surrounding the father are his friends, children, grandchild, adoring wife… the perfect family portrait. Until eldest son Christian gets to his feet to raise a toast to his father, and breaks the silence around a shocking secret.

Trapped in the hotel, the family begins to break down. Is Christian telling the truth? Can he convince the rest of his family? Or will brother turn against brother as the family tears itself apart?

Festen is darkly funny, savage and uncomfortable journey through a dinner party nobody will ever forget.

Festen has themes of child abuse, grief and violence – but there is also a huge wellspring of comedy to be found in the text. The ensemble cast is full of roles which actors can really sink their teeth into. We will transform the Maths Institute into the family’s hotel, creating an immersive experience for the audience.


Important Dates

First round auditions:

Sunday 5 June – 6pm, URC Summertown

Monday 6 June – 7.30pm, St Giles' Parish Room

Monday 13 June – 7.30pm, Sr Giles' Parish Room

Auditions take place at the URC in Summertown

Recalls (by invitation only):

Sunday 19 June – 6pm, URC Summertown

Map to the URC

Map to St Giles' Parish Rooms



Helene – 20s/30s, youngest daughter to Helge & Else. A refined young woman who doesn’t really know what she wants out of life.

Mette – 20s/30s, in a rather unhappy marriage with Michael. She is grumpy and put-upon, but loves her husband and daughter.

Else – 50s/60s, the mother. Elegant and self-possessed, wilfully ignoring the truth of her family situation in order to keep things easy.

Pia – 20s/30s, member of staff at the hotel. A small-town girl with dreams of success elsewhere.

Little girl – 7-12. Daughter of Michael & Mette. We will not be auditioning this role at these dates, but if you know any children who would be interested, please do get in touch.

Either gender

Kim – 20s/30s, chef at the hotel. Christian’s oldest friend, honest and loyal.

Lars – Any age, manager of the hotel. Sarcastic and intelligent, takes delight in outwitting rude guests.

Gbatokai – 20-40, partner of Helene. Must be a different ethnic group to the rest of the cast. Sharp and confident, and not afraid to stand up for him/herself or others.

Helmut – 30-60, protégé of Helge. Cheerful and honest. Hugely looks up to Helge, even when the evidence mounts up against him.


Christian – 20s/30s, eldest son to Helge & Else. Quiet, withdrawn and melancholy. Still very much mourning the death of his twin sister.

Michael – 20s/30s, youngest son to Helge & Else. Angry and insecure, takes this out on his wife Mette.

Helge – 50s/60s, the father. Jolly and charismatic, but able to instantly switch that off and show his true colours.

Poul – 50s/60s, Helge’s oldest friend. Only happy when he has something to complain about.

Grandfather – 70s/80s, father to Helge. Hard of hearing, and always liable to say something completely inappropriate during a tense moment.

The Audition Process

Auditions will be held at the URC church hall in Summertown and St Giles' Parish Room, Woodstock Road. Please check the location for each date above.

The URC church is at 294A Banbury Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7HN – opposite the HSBC bank and South Parade. The hall is at the rear of the church – follow the path down the right hand side of the church. It is very close to bus stops from the city centre and north Oxford, and there is some street parking nearby.

St Giles' Parish Rooms are very close to the centre of town, and located just behind St Giles Church at the top of St Giles'.

Please come in time to start at the advertised time and be prepared to stay for up to 2 hours. There is no need to prepare anything beforehand - you'll be given a selection of short monologues from the play to choose from on the night.

It would be helpful if you could bring a completed audition form, but forms will also be available on the day.

If you have any specific needs with regards to access or any other issues, please do get in contact with Alex, who will help if she can.

All OTG auditions are run according to the OTG audition policy.

What if I can’t make those dates and times?

If you are interested in auditioning, but are unable to come to any of the given dates, please contact Alex and she will try to see you at another time, if possible.