Andromache – Audition

OTG is delighted to announce details of our auditions for the cast of Andromache. Our production, originally scheduled to take place in autumn 2020, will bring a new translation of this rarely seen classical masterpiece to the stunning chapel of Trinity College, Oxford, from 20 to 25 Sept. 2021.

We are looking for four male and four female actors. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done a classical play, much less a French version of a Greek tragedy (!) before. Details of the play and parts available can be found below.

First round auditions will be taking place on the north lawn of the gardens of Trinity College entrance through the gate on Parks Road, opposite Wadham College; please note not via Broad St). You will be required to book for a specific time. We are running things strictly in compliance with all relevant COVID restrictions.


Jean Racine

Director  James McDougall

Dates – 20 to 25 Sept. 2021

Venue – Trinity College Chapel

Orestes loves Hermione, who loves Pyrrhus, who loves Andromache, who loves Hector, who is dead.

So the story goes. But this is not a love story.

Andromache is a tautly written, sharp and powerful tragedy about desire and pride, war and murder, resentment and revenge. Racine’s storyline and characters are drawn from ancient Greek myth, but with its relentless dissection of human frailties torn apart by war and exile, family and foreignness, passion and politics, his play is no less compelling today than when it was first performed in France in 1667.

One of the European theatre’s greatest dramas, Andromache is very rarely performed in English. 

Our production will use a new version by David Bryer, in 10-syllable lines, of the translation he wrote for Cheek By Jowl’s first ever English-language production of the play in 1984.

We will stage the play in modern dress, in traverse, in the seventeenth century chapel of Trinity College. There will be no set: the chapel itself will become the room in Pyrrhus’ palace in which the action takes place, giving the piece an immersive feel.

This is a great opportunity for actors to work on voice, characterisation, and stagecraft. The play is almost entirely duologues. Supporting actors may be asked to understudy their respective principals, both to cover all eventualities and so that we can workshop the play as fully as possible through rehearsals, which will incorporate pair work exercises. We also hope to include a professionally-run workshop on voice and text as part of our rehearsal

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done a classical play before. This is a great opportunity to experiment, develop your skills, and have fun destroying your scene partner with poetry.

Important Dates

First Round auditions:

Sun. 16 May, 3.30-5.30pm - Trinity College gardens (enter via Parks Rd.)

Tues. 18 May, 6.30-8.30pm - Trinity College gardens (enter via Parks Rd.)

Recalls (by invitation only):

Sun. 23 May, from 2.30pm - Friends Meeting House, St Giles.


Get-in, Sun. 19 Sept

Get-out, Sun. 26 Sept.


Rehearsals will be twice weekly (likely to be Sunday afternoons and one weekday evening) from the beginning of June, then three times per week as we approach performance dates.

Texts to prepare for audition will be available in advance when you book your slot online; if you have any questions, please email the director,; he’ll be happy to help.

Roles Available

4 x M, 4 x F, + 3 non-speaking

Andromache f. princess of Troy, widow of Hector, mother of Astyanax - playing age 35-40s

Pyrrhus m. Greek general, king of Epirus, son of Achilles - playing age 35-40s

Hermione f. princess of Sparta, daughter of Helen of Troy, engaged to Pyrrhus - playing age 18-25

Orestes m. Greek officer, prince of Mycenae, son of Agamemnon, and Hermione’s cousin - playing age 20s

Pylades m. Greek officer, Orestes’ friend and confidant - playing age 20s (understudy: Orestes)

Cephisa f. Andromache’s attendant and confidante (understudy: Andromache)

Phoenix m. Pyrrhus’ chief of staff and confidant (understudy: Pyrrhus)

Cleonie f. Hermione’s attendant and confidante (understudy: Hermione)

Astyanax m. son of Andromache and Hector  - playing age c.10, non-speaking (not auditioning at present)

2 Greek soldiers m. or f. Orestes’ bodyguards – walk-on/non-speaking (not auditioning at present)


The war has ended. But it’s not over. A year after the destruction of Troy, Pyrrhus, one of the conquering generals – the son of Achilles, the greatest of them all – has returned home. He has brought a prisoner of war with him: Andromache, the widow of the enemy’s greatest general, Hector, whom Achilles himself killed in action. With her is her son, Astyanax, Hector’s heir: the boy who was to be king over the city Pyrrhus has burned to the ground.

Andromache is dignified, resilient, disdainful, and in mourning for her husband and her city. All she wants is to preserve what she has left of them — her son. Pyrrhus, at the height of his glory, is captivated by his prisoner—all that is left of the enemy. All he wants is her.

But waiting for him in Epirus is Hermione, engaged to him in a political marriage arranged years ago by his father and hers. She is younger, headstrong, petulant, beautiful. Perhaps not as beautiful as her mother, Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, whose abduction started the war in the first place. Let’s say Hermione resents the comparison. She resents Andromache even more. Obsessed by Pyrrhus’ legendary
exploits and status, determined to take her place in history at his side, she also begins to resent him.

And now Orestes has arrived. Hermione’s cousin, he is a soldier too, and the son of another great general, Agamemnon, the commander in chief of the victorious armies. But he has missed his chance to marry Hermione, with whom he has long been obsessed. He would do anything for her.

Sent to Pyrrhus as ambassador from the other Greek states, Orestes’ brief is to extract Astyanax, and take him away to execution. What he wants is to extract Hermione, and he doesn’t much care if that means another war.

In the battle of wills that follows, Andromache resolves to protect her son by marrying Pyrrhus: still faithful to Hector, she intends to kill herself once Astyanax is safe. Pyrrhus refuses to give up Astyanax and prepares to wed Andromache. Hermione, furious, agrees to leave with Orestes if he kills Pyrrhus for her; but when Orestes does so, in the midst of the wedding ceremony, she recoils from him, killing herself instead. Orestes is driven mad. Andromache and Astyanax, the defeated captives, now bitterly victorious, remain alone onstage.

It’s not over. It never will be.