The Maltese Falcon
A thriller by David Jacklin, based on Dashiell Hammett’s novel.
Director Matthew van den Berg
From 10am by appointment (other times by negotiation).
How: Email HLT for a script: email@example.com. NB: The theatre reopens Jan 17.
Appointments: Email the director: firstname.lastname@example.org for an audition time after you’ve read the script.
Rehearsals: From March 20; Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7-10pm
The rehearsal process is both fun and tiring. It requires perseverance, commitment, and the willingness to learn lines quickly. Please ensure you’re in the right space to fully commit to these requirements before auditioning. Agents often try to discourage actors from unpaid theatre work. I suggest any actors with representation have this conversation with their agents before auditioning.
Season: May 7 to 28
Matthew has had a long association with community theatre in Auckland as both director and actor, most recently directing HLT's 2021 production of The Girl On The Train. He works professionally where able and is a committed creative who cares deeply about live theatre, and the process of developing performance through collaborative and intuitive means.
Set in San Francisco in 1948, this much-loved story has all the compelling elements of a noir thriller: the hardbitten private detective Sam Spade, accompanying hard-nosed cops breathing down his neck and, of course, the obligatory duplicitous femme fatale. There’s a colourful cast of quirky criminals, unscrupulous adventurers, all desirous of the jewel-encrusted Maltese Falcon statuette. The priceless bird is missing and the bodies are piling up.
CAST: 6 men/3 women – we are relatively open in respect of age and keen to see who shows up to audition and what they can bring to a role.
The Narrator is essential to this piece, perfectly setting scenes and moving the narrative along. This requires a clever character actor who can then pivot into the key role of arch-villain Casper Gutman. He is described as the fat man – an unscrupulous, wealthy villain – his size an outward expression of his excessive lifestyle and greed.
The protagonist and no angel. He sleeps with his partner’s wife and is almost greedy for wealth. He doesn’t mind bending the law to get to the truth. He knows how to handle himself, how to crack a case, and ultimately will reveal his unshakable ethical integrity by handing over his lover to the police.
Sam’s loyal office assistant. She is down-to-earth, hardworking, and one of the few honest people in the play. She is attractive and has a familial relationship with Sam.
Brigid O’Shaughnessy (aka Miss Wonderly):
The central antagonist, the classic femme fatale in the story. She’s attractive, evoking innocence and helplessness, but is really a murderous manipulator who will stop at nothing to acquire the Falcon.
This collection of roles spans Sam’s murdered partner, an in-house hotel detective, an arrogant cop, a district attorney, and a ship’s captain. This will require a talented character actor who can portray each character.
Detective Tom Polhaus/Luke:
A good-natured policeman who helps Sam out with information. Doubles as Luke, the in-house hotel detective at Joel Cairo’s hotel.
Miles Archer’s wife and Sam’s lover. She is swayed by her passions and acts rashly. Also doubles as a stenographer.
Gutman’s employee. He uses deceit and intimidation in pursuit of the Falcon. He wears perfume and jewellery and is described as effeminate. A great role for a talented actor.
Another Gutman employee, he’s hot-tempered and quick to violence. He attempts to compensate for his young age with insults, big talk, and two large pistols.
NB: My Vaccine Pass is needed for this event.