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Casting Opportunities for Lord Dismiss Us

We shall be casting for Lord Dismiss Us in early June. A casting breakdown will appear on Spotlight in May. In the meantime, if you are interested in auditioning for any of the roles below, please get in touch via the contacts page.

Character : TERRY CARLETON

Age 18. Head prefect of one of the houses of Weatherhill School, a boarding school in the Buckinghamshire countryside. This is his final term. He is still a virgin (almost) but is determined to lose it to his sweetheart in the fourth form, Nicholas Allen. For Terry, this is a coming of age story. He edits the school magazine and aspires to be a writer and to escape from an institution which has stopped him reaching full maturity. His father is an old boy of the school and excelled at rugby, cricket, rowing, everything in fact that Terry hates. Dad is more interested in his batting average than his development as a person. Terry desires to be a rebel but is straightjacketed by the public school system. However, he does succeed in the end, when he is cast opposite his lover Nicholas in the school play - where Nicholas has to play a girl! Terry wants to live an openly gay life and is confident of, though a little naive about, his sexuality. It is 1967 and the law is changing, homosexuality being partially decriminalised. Terry knows that he will be a criminal until he reaches the age of 21, but even then - in 1967 - society is still very much against it. Terry will win through, he's a bold, clever, talented boy who in the end throws off the shackles of school and steps out into a brave new world - as a brave new person.

Character : PETER NAYLOR

Age 18. Prefect in the same house as Terry Carleton. He is the son of a Labour MP in Harold Wilson's Labour government. "Doesn't he realise he sent you to the wrong school?" jibes the snobby school captain. His father is going to vote against the proposal to decriminalise homosexual acts, and though Naylor is overtly and obviously gay he agrees with his father. He and Terry have been friends since prep school, but it's Naylor who is repressed and secretly ashamed of his sexuality. He did attempt sex with Terry - but ended up only wetting his trousers. He will probably go on to become one of those individuals in public life who forever hides his homosexuality behind a facade, being exposed only after some indiscretion in a tabloid newspaper. At school however Naylor isn't afraid to take on a 'Lady Bracknell' style part in the school play - with clothes and voice to match. A popular and lively boy, and an extrovert, he'd probably do well in the acting profession if he wasn't so closeted. When his best friend Terry falls in love with another boy, Naylor suffers and becomes intensely jealous - with destructive consequences.

Character : JOHN STEELE

Age 18. The School Captain. His father was a hero in the Korean War and won the Victoria Cross. His future is mapped out, officer training and then into the army. A bit of a snob, and a self-confessed heterosexual, he is expected to keep discipline in the school. He disapproves strongly of homosexual relationships and makes it a personal mission to report such matters to the headmaster, himself a terrible homophobe. When girls from a neighbouring college are invited to Weatherhill for a day of tea and tennis, Steele does his best to step up to the plate as a full-blooded man-boy. But wait. Steele is as repressed as any of the boys in the school. He can't even say the word 'heterosexual' without stuttering and turning red in the face. When he is asked by the headmaster to compile a list of names of boys indulging in unnatural acts, and expulsions follow, Steele is consumed by guilt. He ends up tacitly aiding Terry Carleton in his personalised gay rebellion against the institution that is Weatherhill School. Steele's conversion is not complete - but the army may have to be put on hold while he decides on the future he really wants.

Character : NICHOLAS ALLEN

Age 16. Nicholas is in the fourth year. He's just arrived at the school having been expelled from Eton after a scandalous relationship with another boy. Though younger, he's more sexually precocious than any of the others. And he wants to go to Cambridge, and become a clergyman - like his father. A good-looking boy who steals Carleton's heart, he does all the planning, leaving notes for Carleton in secret places. Nicholas is no saint, which the Chaplain soon discovers when he takes a confession from him in cnfirmation classes. Nicholas cheerily confesses to flirting with almost every boy in the school! Nicholas doesn't really know what he wants - no relationship is ever going to last - as Carleton eventually finds out. But when Nicholas is cast as Carleton's young female lover in the school play, the scene is set for a romantic conclusion in front of the entire school, headmaster and new governors.

Character : ERIC ASHLEY

Age 28. Eric Ashley is an English teacher, and an old boy of the school. His mother is an actress and wanted him to follow in the profession, but Eric decided he wanted to be a teacher and to inspire - much to his mother's horror. Eric is gay and had a relationship with the son of a school governor when he was a boy. In spite of that, the old headmaster invited him back as a master - such was the 'old boys clique'. Eric is a bit tortured by it. The arrival of a new and very homophobic headmaster and his devoutly religious wife means that Eric is put on notice. But he's a popular and very intelligent master who really loves his job. He knows what the outside world is like, unlike the boys that he teaches. When Carleton seeks his help in becoming a writer, Eric is torn between his professional duties and his affection for an eighteen year old who seems to be growing up fast. He reaches a crisis in his career when the reign of terror in the school causes a mob of boys to string up two of their gay fellow pupils - for Eric has to decide very quickly whether or not to come out, and to come out fighting.

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