MAT auditioning for British farce

MAT auditioning for British farce

Jay Pyette

November 12, 2019, by Rachel Jamieson, Havre Daily News

Montana Actors’ Theatre is holding auditions Sunday and Monday for its production of “One Man, Two Guvnors.”

The auditions are from 6 to 8 p.m. each night in the Little Theatre in Cowan Hall on the Montana State University-Northern campus.

“One Man, Two Guvnors“ will be directed by MAT veteran director Audrey Barger.

Barger said she chose this play because last season she directed a serious play for MAT and thought a high-comedy production would be fun.

“I read it and it’s hilarious. It’s got a lot of physical comedy, music, dancing and it’s just going to be really fun, a really fun audience experience, I think,” she said. “I would like them to come prepared with a British accent because we’re going to do it in a British style. It’s a British play. I also would like them to come prepared with a song to sing. I don’t care if it’s ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,’ or whatever, it is to get an idea for pitch and vocal range.”

She added that people coming to audition will also learn a dance step or two to see if they have the ability.

“It is a very British farce, but it is based from a comedia tradition that is from a ‘Servant of Two Masters’ Italian play,”  MAT artistic director Grant Olson said. “This is the funniest play I have ever seen in my life.”

“It’s just kind of mayhem, madness and fun,” Barger said. “It’s great farce which is almost past comedy, and it’s going to be really fun for the audience to experience and a really fun thing for people to be in or help produce.”

Barger added that the production is a very man-heavy play and she is really looking for people who play instruments to come and audition.

They are putting together a skiffle band as part of the production, she said.

Skiffle is a musical genre with jazz, blues and American folk music influences commonly using improvised instruments such as jugs, washboards and kazoos along with more traditional instruments that started in the U.S. about the turn of the last century. It was revived in Britain in the 1950s and is credited with influencing or even launching many bands and artists including the Beatles.

John Lennon was in a skiffle band before joining the Beatles.

“The play is set in 1963,” Barger said. “We need tech people, we need people interested in playing in a skiffle band, and it’s just going to be fun and that era is fun, when all the colors and clothes started to come.I really, really want anybody interested in being in the skiffle band, which is on the stage a lot throughout the production, to have them come.”

She said she needs about four women between the ages of 20 to 40 and needs about eight men between ages 20 to 80, plus some extras.

“I’m looking for people that have a little bit of talent in singing and dancing,” she said. “I’m really needing help finding a Jamaican man in about his 50s, somebody who can play a Jamaican person. If there is anybody interested, I am interested in hearing from them. I really need to hear them because we really need someone to come and help us out.”

People can visit MAT’s Facebook page at or their website at for more information. People can also contact Barger at for more information or with questions.

“I think it’s going to be great fun to produce. We are going to have a great time,” Barger said.

The production will premiere Friday, Jan. 24, and run the last two weekends of January into the first week of February.

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