Nicholas Nickleby – Auditions

Photo credit: Simon Vail

Nicholas Nickleby
by Charles Dickens

Adapted and Directed by Hedda Bird

Venue: Oxford Playhouse
Dates: Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 March 2022                              

Introductory Workshop

Prior to auditions there will be a workshop for anyone who would like to find out more about the play, the production, the opportunities, and the rehearsal period.   Everyone is welcome, though you need to book your time.  The workshop is NOT part of the auditioning process, attending does not mean you are expected to audition, and not attending it will not be a disadvantage in the auditions.   At the workshop we will explore some key aspects of the play, in particular, how to make the most of the ‘play within a play’ concept to tell the story.  We will have a few short scenes to work with, and time to explore how the play might begin and end.

The workshop will take place at South Oxford Community Centre on Sunday 3 October.  There will be 2 sessions each lasting about an hour.  The first will start at 2.30pm and the second at 3.30pm.

To reserve your space, please email the production co-ordinator at stating which time you would like to attend.

About the production

We are looking for a cast of around 20 people to play at least 30 characters. 

Most people will be playing more than one role, so the ability to play at least two quite different characters will be useful!

With the exception of Nick and Smike, everyone else is ‘a member of the Crummles Theatre Company’.  The whole company is on stage most of the time, and each person ‘steps into a role’ as the story moves forward.

If you have not read the book, I strongly recommend you read some chapters – those at Dotheboys Hall, and those at the Mantelini Milliner would be a good start.    The full plot and main characters are outlined on Wikipedia, and there was a typical ‘all British Star cast’ film made in 2001, now on Amazon Prime We are aiming to give Kate’s story a big presence in the play, along with a host of fabulous female characters.  Of course we are not including every character and every part of the story - you can find out more at the workshop.

After the workshop, we will release a full list of characters we are including, the doubling may vary depending on who is cast.   The following characters are unlikely to be doubled:  Nick, Smike, Kate, Noggs, Ralph.

The cast will include at least 6 women, and 8 men, with the remaining 6 people being either male or female.  We aim to be inclusive and diverse in casting – looking for people who can bring energy and enthusiasm regardless of age, gender or race.  We welcome Disabled actors  – if you have access requirements to enable you to participate, please let us know so we can plan for it. 

Hedda Bird - Director

Important Dates


Sunday 3 October, 2.30pm – 4.30pm        
South Oxford Community Centre, Lake Street, Oxford

First Round Auditions   

Monday 11 October, 7.30pm – 9.30pm
East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, Oxford

Thursday 14 October, 8pm – 10pm
Summertown United Reformed Church Hall, Banbury Road, Oxford

Sunday 17 October, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
South Oxford Community Centre, Lake Street, Oxford

Recalls (by invitation only)

Monday 18 October, 7.30pm – 9.30pm
East Oxford Community Centre, Princes Street, Oxford

Thursday 21 October    8pm – 10pm
Summertown United Reformed Church Hall, Banbury Road, Oxford                 

Audition Process

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

Auditions will be pre-booked on Eventbrite in groups of up to four.  Each slot will last 20 minutes. You need to book your slot by following the appropriate link - see below

You will also need to complete an Audition Form.

At the auditions there will be some very short scenes from the play to work on in groups of 2 – 4 with no more than a few lines each. The aim of the audition is to explore playing different roles in the scene regardless of whether it is a role you might actually play in the end. You do not need to learn anything! We will make the material for the auditions available at least 24 hours before your audition. If you struggle with reading you will still be able to participate fully, just let us know in advance. We are looking for actors who can create characters, are prepared to try out different approaches, and will enjoy working in an informal ‘let’s work this out together’ approach to rehearsals.

Monday 11 October

Thursday 14 October

Sunday 17 October


There will be a small number of initial workshops during November with rehearsals starting in full from Sunday 2 January 2022.  It is likely that we will be rehearsing on Sunday afternoons and in the evening of Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays – though not everyone will be required at every rehearsal.  The schedule will be confirmed once the cast is in place and availability has been ascertained.  Please note that the technical and dress rehearsals will take place at the theatre on Sunday 6 and Monday 7 March - timings to be confirmed.

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 the production co-ordinator at 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 and Procedure

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 seen here.