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But Yesterday & Edwin - Reading & Audition Information

Dates for your diary

Play Reading:           Sunday 28nd November, 6.00pm, Coward Room, HHT (Just turn up)

Auditions:                  Sunday 5th December, 6.00 pm, Coward Suite (let us know you are interested and we can send audition pieces )

Performances:       Tuesday 22nd – Saturday 26th March 2022 (Studio)

Unlike much of Jimmie’s more well-known writing, But Yesterday is not a ‘northern comedy’ but rather a dark and brooding drama set in middle England in the 1950s, and charts in flashbacks a small and seemingly normal parochial family living out an ordinary existence in rural England after the Second World War. However, as the piece unfolds in its peaceful countryside vicarage garden, all is not what it initially seems and the familial relationships not what they appear on the surface. It is only in the final scene that we learn the real truth about the characters and what the future holds for them.


Robert (playing age late 30s to mid 40s) What the audience sees: Narrator – played direct to audience / ALSO plays himself in real time (1950s) plus in flashback to his childhood / enigmatic, troubled yet calm / resigned to his life choices / distant from his parents / secretive, a loner / intelligent and strong willed / has a natural affinity with his ‘aunt’.

Howard (playing age 60s – early 70s) What the audience sees: Robert’s ‘father’ / vicar of small village parish / eccentric and controlling / has adopted a feigned deafness and blindness which he insists the others go along with / appears happy enough in his small, isolated world / eschews change / plays 1950s and in flashback / otherworldly with Victorian attitudes to life.

Chloe (playing age mid 50s - 60s) What the audience sees: Howard’s dutiful wife and Roger’s ‘mother’ / not very bright or quick on the uptake / has accepted her lot in life but would probably change this if Howard would allow / finds it hard to show affection / childlike on occasion / plays 1950s and in flashback. 

Ruth (playing age mid 50s - 60s) What the audience sees: Howard’s younger sister / also lives at the vicarage / has the strongest bond with Robert and is his confidante / not taken with Howard and Chloe’s parenting decisions and often clashes with Chloe / unhappy but resigned / knows her place / plays 1950s and in flashback. 

Woman (playing age 30s - 40s) What the audience sees: Arrives unexpectedly looking for Robert / only seen in the 1950s / has not seen her husband for some time / has not told her parents that she is married / lost soul / intelligent but not worldly wise / confused and concerned but trusting. 

Two men in suits (playing ages 20 - 60) Only appear in the final few minutes, stand very still, say nothing, fixed gazes on Robert, leave with him – clearly ‘minders’.


Edwin is a delightfully witty, quintessentially English comedy, penned by John Mortimer, creator of the immortal Rumpole of the Bailey. The central character in Edwin is likewise an indomitable legal man, although in this case a retired judge: Sir Fennimore Truscott. The play takes place in his garden at Gallows Corner in Suffolk. Truscott and his wife Margaret are awaiting the arrival for lunch of ‘the prodigal son’, their only child, Edwin, a high-flying businessman, recently returned from Canada. Making up the party is their neighbour, the bachelor potter Tom Marjoriebanks. Truscott suspects that Edwin is actually Tom’s son, as a result of his rival having ‘rogered’ Margaret in the conservatory many summers ago. Tom likes to think so too, and the pair of old stags lock horns, both claiming Edwin (whom we never meet) as their own. It is left to Margaret, once Edwin has departed, to enlighten them with the truth.


Sir Fennimore Truscott – retired judge. Pompous, tetchy, conservative, judgemental, but with a wicked sense of humour. A man of his time and class.

Lady Margaret Truscott – his ever-patient wife. Dependable, unflappable, once (still?) beautiful, with a free-spirited heart, and bearing (rather lightly, as it happens) a long-held secret.

Tom Marjoriebanks – their neighbour. Good-humoured and liberal. Despite being, almost ostentatiously, ‘an artist’, he proves to be as stubborn and blinkered as Truscott.

All three characters are ‘types’, and are almost certainly conscious of this, playing up to the expectations the others have of them. All three roles are absolute gems, and need to be played by more mature actors, with a playing age of at least 60.

asting Policy

TTC has a totally open audition policy and we enjoy meeting new people.  You don't have to be a TTC member to attend the reading and audition - and if you aren't available for the audition date set don't worry - you can still audition. If cast, will then be required to join as a Full Member. 

Contact Details:

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We look forward to seeing you all.