“Grace. Decorum. Poise. Even around corpses.”
Who’s up for another round of croquet? From the creators of Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind comes a brand new revival of a true classic from Master Mystery Productions. In 2016, silly seances, missing diamonds, rapier wits, and bodies in the croquet lawn sent an intimate garden setting into uproarious laughter. There were peacocks on hats, raccoons in the trees, and hounds digging up colonels. Well, we’re digging up the big skirts and big hats again, but we’ll need big personalities to fill them. Interested in joining our garden party? Everyone is cordially invited to attend…
THE LAST GARDEN PARTY;
or How a Lady Keeps Her Poise Around Corpses
Friday and Saturday, March 13 and 14, 2020
5 to 7 p.m. at Red Rock Books (206 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.)
The Last Garden Party; or How a Lady Keeps Her Poise Around Corpses will be our 2020 revival production of the beloved and popular Victorian comedy, The Last Garden Party, first performed in July 2016 at My Enchanted Cottage and Tea Room. Voted for by our fans in the Hindsight is 2020 campaign we held last year, this show will be our first officially-sanctioned revival production of an MMP classic to help celebrate our 5th anniversary season. Helmed by multi-award-winning director of the sold-out production of Close Encounters of the Hairy Kind, MMP Hall of Fame Artist Monica Dwyer, the show will be a full circle production for her as she revives the first show she did with Master Mystery Productions. The script is fully revised by the playwright with new scenes, new suspects, a new solution, and two different endings for the 2020 season. Our script contains eight roles: five ladies and three gentlemen.
Actors need to be age 15 and older to audition. Those under 18 will need a parent/guardian signature on a permission slip AND a parent/guardian MUST attend any and all rehearsals their child attends. Actors will be paid for their work. Actors under 18 require a parent/guardian to travel with us.
The show performs June 5, 6, 12, and 13, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at Ridgecrest Presbyterian Church.
During auditions, everyone will fill out an audition form which will ask for basics such as name, email, experience, availability, etc. These are just basics to give us an understanding on who the performer is as well as contact information. Then we pair up performers for cold readings of selected scenes from the original script by Daniel Stallings. Rehearsal schedule will be finalized after auditions based on actor availability. After auditions, casting emails will be sent out to everyone who auditioned for the show.
If you are unable to attend the posted audition dates, but are still interested in trying out, message us on Facebook or email us at email@example.com to schedule an outside audition.
England at the turn of the twentieth century was a period of peace, prosperity, and cloying politeness. In the year 1900, as Victoria’s record-shattering reign eased toward its end, young second wife of “the only wealthy peer left in England,” Phoebe Walliscroft, throws a garden party at their country estate to celebrate midsummer while her husband is abroad. But her party is not going according to plan. First, the village peerage doesn’t respect her since she’s “just an American.” Second, the festivities are dominated by Phoebe’s new and eccentric in-laws. Third, there’s a skeleton under the croquet set…just as they were about play a game! As her troublesome in-laws-turned-suspects trade witticisms, insults, and suspicions, Phoebe and the rest of her guests attempt to piece together this puzzling problem…before this garden party becomes their last. A revival of the 2016 classic, the new production will feature a revised script with new characters and a brand new solution to figure out!
CAST OF CHARACTERS
PHOEBE WALLISCROFT — The young, American second wife of the absent Lord Walliscroft. She is the hostess of this last garden party, but her good intentions are hampered by her nutty new relatives. She is baffled by the eccentricities and the imperviousness to crisis of the British upper class. Her exasperation with their antics, the stress of finding a skeleton in her garden, and the pressure to solve the mystery pushes Phoebe in ways she couldn’t fathom.
LADY ELIZABETH MARGARET ANNE PRUDENCE TEMPERANCE CHARITY BRADFORDSHIRE-PIERCE — A Lady Bracknell-esque character, she is the wife of a socially prominent, but penniless peer. She has an extensive, almost encyclopedic knowledge of the British aristocracy, social customs, biting remarks, and the history and genealogy of the Walliscroft family. But Lady Elizabeth may not be what she seems…or what she claims.
GENERAL MAJOR — An obscure uncle to Lord Walliscroft with an equally obscure military history. His relatives often mix up “General Major” with “Major General.” He is an alcoholic shell of his former self who is constantly wandering through a haze and trying to find a way to smuggle booze into the garden party despite the hawk-like scrutiny of Lady Elizabeth. However, he still possesses an ounce of cunning and can unleash a smattering of sharp, dry observations.
PAUL WALLISCROFT — Lord Walliscroft’s son from his previous marriage who is, as is the way of these stories, around the same age as his stepmother. A scholarly man, Paul is the epitome of cool British reserve that scoffs at any “ridiculous fancies” such as the end of the British Empire or a body in the croquet lawn. He tolerates Phoebe, but is not enthused at his father’s second marriage.
MIA MALLOWAN — The ward of Lord Walliscroft who everyone assumes will eventually marry his son, Paul. Impetuous, brash, and strong-willed, Mia is independent and loves it. She is a sassy girl who enjoys playing tricks on her relatives. But she also has a ruthless side with an undercurrent of greed.
MRS. MULLET — The salty, smart-mouthed housekeeper at the Walliscroft estate, who generally dislikes everyone around her, especially the nonsensical relatives who show up for the garden party. Never one to mince words, she is always ready and willing to lay down the line and tell people off. Re-hired by Phoebe, she runs the estate with extreme precision and forthrightness. Her perhaps one atom of real sympathy is for Phoebe, whom she views as a young woman in an unfortunate situation.
ELOISE — Phoebe’s young, impressionable parlourmaid. She’s a sweet girl who likes her equally young mistress, acting almost like best friends or sisters instead of servant and mistress, much to the horror of Mrs. Mullet and Lady Elizabeth. She has a vibrant imagination that can get carried away as she is very suggestible to atmosphere and romantic notions. She devours penny dreadfuls and thrillers as she wishes her life could be as exciting as those books. Which can put her in danger when a real body turns up in the croquet lawn…
THOMAS HANGSBY — The under-gardener at the Walliscroft estate. Ambitious, proud, but not altogether too sharp in the head, he has grand designs and schemes of rising to the highest possible status in the new industrial age and middle class forming in Victorian England. He resents working as an under-gardener (not even the head gardener) and would like nothing more than to stick it to the upper crusts. While also wanting to do anything to become like them and live the fancy and well-heeled life. He gets the rest of the staff into rather sticky situations.
The Last Garden Party is a hilarious, high-energy spoof on Victorian England filled with quick quips and unforgettable characters, and we are beyond thrilled to get a chance to do it again. But we need amazing people like you to help! We welcome anyone and everyone who is interested to audition. No theatrical experience is necessary. We are always happy to take and develop new talent all the time. If you have questions or concerns, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or message Master Mystery Productions of Facebook.
We will see you at auditions!
–Master Mystery Productions