WHEN: Sunday, January 8 (afternoon) and Tuesday, January 10 (evening), 2012
WHERE: Chester Theatre Group of the Black River Playhouse, Grove Street, Chester, NJ
Performances (9): March 2–18, 2012, Fri. & Sat. eves., Sun. matinees
SYNOPSIS: By Jeeves is primarily based on the book The Code of the Woosters, but Ayckbourn skillfully weaves in characters and plot elements from Wodehouse’s other Jeeves stories. Mistaken identities and romantic entanglements are the classic comic engines of By Jeeves, but wrapped around the story is a clever device: At the start of the show, the audience is told they are in attendance at a church hall for a charity concert that is to feature a banjo performance by Bertie Wooster (a skill at which he is as inept as he is boastful).
To spare the poor attendees, Jeeves contrives to have Bertie’s banjo conveniently stolen, leaving him no choice but to fill the evening with anecdotes of his misadventures. Jeeves narrates us through Bertie’s spotty recollections, ultimately spinning the tale we see unfold—enhanced by impromptu (and delightfully inadequate) props, costumes and sound effects.
NEEDED: Cast: 10 leads, 3 ensemble; Orchestra: 6 (piano, woodwinds, keyboard, bass, drums, guitar)
- Jeeves (Male, 50-70, vocal range: N/A) Aristocratic, cultured, “gentleman’s gentleman.” Adept at disguising insults as flattery.
- Bertie Wooster CAST
- Honoria Glossup (Female, 25-40, mezzo-soprano) Sturdy, no-nonsense outdoors-woman; Bertie’s ex- (and would-be future-) fianceé.
- Augustus “Gussie” Fink-Nottle (Male, 25-45, tenor) Timid bookworm who often backwards gets words his.
- Bingo Little (Male, 25-45, tenor) Forlorn, jaded, and easily injured.
- Stephanie “Stiffy” Byng CAST
- Harold “Stinker” Pinker (Male, 25-45, tenor) Large fellow whose innate nervousness often causes him to break things.
- Madelyn Bassett (Female, 20-35, soprano) Object of many chaps’ affections; strong breeze between ears.
- Sir Watkyn Basset (Male, 40-65, baritone) Madelyn’s father and local magistrate. Intimidating presence when not confused.
- Cyrus Budge III (Male, 25-45, baritone) An American visitor. Brawny, brazen, and bright (not).
- Ensemble (2 Female, 1 Male)
NOTE: Vocal ranges are approximate only as this is not a big “singing” show. However, all must have impeccable British accents (except Budge, who has an over-emphasized American accent).
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC from the show.