The Recruiting Officer – Auditions

The Recruiting Officer

by George Farquhar

Directed by Ruth Readshaw


12 performances in the middle two weeks of July 2023 at Trinity College Gardens, Oxford

Important Dates

Auditions Round 1

Thursday 2 February, 7.30pm – 9.30pm, URC Hall, Summertown

Saturday 4 February, 2pm – 4pm, Saint Margaret’s Institute Hall

Wednesday 8 February, 7.30pm – 9.30pm, The Old Schoolhouse, Hertford Street

Recalls by invitation

Saturday 11 February, 2pm – 4pm, Saint Margaret’s Institute Hall

We are looking for a diverse cast for this comedy performance of The Recruiting Officer. All roles apart from the ‘breeches’ part of Sylvia can be played by any gender. Music will play a big part in the show with singing and a live band.

Rehearsals will commence on Sunday 16 April, and weekly thereafter on Monday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. We will introduce another evening rehearsal outdoors in June.

The play was a huge success when it was first performed at Drury Lane Theatre, London, with the acclaimed actor Edmund Keen in the role of Justice Balance. The Recruiting Officer went on to be the most performed play after Hamlet in 18th century England and was the first play to be performed in the new penal colony of Australia, as well as the first commercial play to be performed in America. It is the ‘play within a play’ in Our Country’s Good.

Audition Process

There will be 3 first round audition sessions and then recalls by invitation only.

You must fill out an audition form and state the date you will be attending. Please expect to stay for the whole time.

Select the link below to complete the audition form (opens in a new window).

Audition Monologues

Please choose one monologue to perform at your audition – you can download the monologues here.


Captain Plume and his sidekick Sergeant Kite of the Grenadier Guards have returned from the Battle of Blenheim to recruit more soldiers in the market town of Shrewsbury. Plume is in love with the heiress Sylvia and his friend Worthy is in love with her cousin Melinda. Both women have recently come into a large fortune putting them out of reach of their lovers.

Sylvia’s father sends her away to the country to get her away from Plume, but she returns disguised as a man and offers to enlist in the army with him. At the same time, Melinda flirts with Brazen and Lucy is on the look out for a husband herself. The recruitment of soldiers is left to Sergeant Kite who dresses up as a fortune teller in order to trick naïve young men into joining up.

Farquhar’s plotting is brilliantly crafted with language that is witty and fun as he depicts life in the raw in a small market town in times of war.

Cast list

Three Justices
Mr Balance
Mr Scale
Mr Scruple
Mr Worthy, a gentleman of Shropshire
Two Recruiting Officers
Captain Plume
Captain Brazen
Melinda, a lady of fortune
Sylvia, daughter to Balance, in love with Plume
Lucy, Melinda’s maid
Rose, a country wench
Kite, Sergeant to Plume
Bullock, a country clown
Two recruits
Costar Pearmain
Thomas Appletree
Pluck, a butcher
Thomas, a smith
Bridewell, a constable
Various recruits, drummer, mob, servants and attendants

Accessibility concerns

If you have any specific needs with regards to access or any other issues, please do contact us at and we will help if we can.

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 us at and we will try to see you at another time, if possible.

All OTG auditions are run in accordance with our policies:

Audition Policy

Harassment Policy & Procedures

Safeguarding Policy


We are still learning to live with the virus and so all OTG activities – including the auditions and rehearsals – will take place in line with our Covid Policy. Full details can be read in our OTG Covid Policy.