Auditions for Season 2 – 2021

The Yeomen of the Guard

Audition Dates – 5th and 7th May




Country performance:
weekend of 28th August – Venue To Be Announced


Melbourne Season:
2nd September at 8pm
3rd September at 8pm
4th September at 2pm
4th September at 8pm

at Alexander Theatre
Monash University
48 Exhibition Walk
Clayton, 3169


Rehearsals starting 29th June with Tuesday evenings for Chorus and Principals, Thursday evenings for Principals, and Sunday daytime rehearsals for Chorus and Principals from 11th July until bump in.

A full schedule will be available at the first rehearsal if not before.



5th May from 7:30pm to 10pm
7th May from 7:30pm to 10pm

The Audition Venue is in Blackburn South.

To register for an audition timeslot please email the auditions coordinator with your preferred date and time (if any), the role(s) you wish to audition for, and a performance CV with an outline of your experience.

Chorus members need to audition (sing anything you like) only if they are new to the Society. All performers intending to join the chorus need to register with the auditions coordinator.



There will be strict limits on the number of people allowed in the Audition Venue, and the use of masks and social distancing will follow DHHS/Government guidelines. Hand sanitiser will be available. If you are unwell, please contact us to reschedule if possible.

To avoid the handling of extra pens and paperwork at the audition, please provide a performance CV (including up-to-date contact details and a phone/mobile number) via email when requesting an audition slot.



Auditionees should read all the character descriptions and prepare the speech for the particular role they are seeking. It is not necessary for either the dialogue or the songs to be memorised. Articulation is particularly important. if you are having trouble reading the table, you can download the descriptions here: GSOV-Yeomen2021-Auditions.pdf


Character Dialogue Music
Phoebe Meryll: Mezzo. A star-struck 17 year-old, infatuated with the ‘young and handsome’ Colonel Fairfax, a prisoner in the Tower. A little minx, she has Wilfred Shadbolt on a string, but all the while hoping that someone more eligible will come along. Strong-willed and courageous.


Act 1: Scene with Wilfred “Wilfred and alone . . . oh, how I would love you”. Act 1 #1 (Solo)

When Maiden Loves

Wilfred Shadbolt: Bass-baritone. Aged mid-20s. He is the lugubrious head jailer; an assistant tormentor of un-prepossessing appearance, who loves his job and carries out his duties conscientiously. Has been pursuing Phoebe in the hope that she will eventually accept him as a husband, and is jealous of anyone who shows an interest in her. He has some of the best comic scenes in the show.


Opening scene Act 1: “Mistress Meryll . . . organisation of the human interior”.


Act 2 #3 (Duet)

Hereupon we’re both agreed.

Sgt. Meryll: Bass. Age 40 – 60, Phoebe’s father. Experienced and trusted old soldier in charge of a body of Yeomen. Has a great deal of sympathy for Colonel Fairfax, who twice saved his life. Hatches a plot to set him free. If discovered, it would lead to his own execution.


Act 1: “Leonard my brave boy . . .” to end of scene. Act 1 #4 (Trio)

Alas! I waver to and fro

Colonel Fairfax: Tenor. Early 30’s. A military hero. Falsely imprisoned on a charge of sorcery levelled by his influential kinsman and is to be executed this day. Needs to marry before he dies so that his kinsman does not inherit the estate. A hasty marriage is arranged, with a blindfolded Elsie Maynard as his bride. He escapes from his cell through a plot organised by Sgt Meryll, and impersonates Leonard Meryll, the Sgt’s son. As ‘Leonard’ he woos Elsie and she falls in love with him, while still trying to remain faithful to the vows she made to ‘Fairfax’.


Act 2: Scene with Elsie “So my mysterious bride . . . I spoke but to test you”.


Act 1 #5 (Solo)

Is life a boon

Dame Carruthers: Contralto. Over 40. A middle-aged spinster, God-fearing and superstitious, in charge of running the household of the Tower. Seems to have absorbed some of the tower’s granite-like qualities. Would very much like to hook up with Sgt Meryll, who tries to avoid her whenever possible.


Act 1: “A good day to you . . . as dear to me as my own right hand”


Act 1 #3 (Solo with Chorus)

When our gallant Norman foes

Leonard Meryll: Tenor. Mid 20’s. A celebrated military hero – the medieval Tom Cruise of ‘Mission Impossible’. Is due to take up an appointment in the Yeomen of the Guard, but joins in the plot to free Fairfax then to stay out of sight until Fairfax’s reprieve arrives.


Act 1: “Father! . . .”  to end of scene.


Act 1 #4 (Trio)

Alas! I waver to and fro

Sir Richard Cholmondeley (Cholmeley): Baritone or Bass-baritone. Lieutenant of the Tower – commanding figure  – Mid 40’s. (Actual historic age was 60). He is a strict disciplinarian, and is determined to see Fairfax executed, even though he is sympathetic towards Fairfax’s plight. He has the power of life and death over the inhabitants of the Tower.


Act 1: Scene with Elsie & Point “What is this pother? . . . ” to end of scene.


Act 1 #8 (Trio)

How say you, maiden, will you wed

Elsie Maynard: Dramatic Soprano. A “pretty maid of 17” who arrives at the Tower with Jack Point to entertain so that they can earn money to purchase medicine for Elsie’s ill mother. She agrees to be blindfolded and marry a prisoner in return for a vast sum of money, having been assured of his immediate execution. Jack Point’s clumsy attempts to woo her are ignored. A strong sense of duty.


Act 2: Scene with Fairfax “Master Leonard . . . Oh, shame on you! Shame on you”.


Act 1 #10 (Solo)

“Tis done! I am a bride

Jack Point: Light Baritone. Aged 30-40. A jester by profession, who had once been in the employ of the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was dismissed After making a jest that wasn’t appreciated, and has not been able to get a wealthy sponsor since, so he is now making a poor living by busking in the towns. He is in love with Elsie, and considers her his ‘bride to be’, but lacks the ability to express his love, so he confides in his folly stick “Jack”, and expresses his feelings by means of jests. Elsie is not in love with him, and when at last he realises that she is lost to him, he dies of a broken heart.


Act 2: “The Merrie Jestes of Hugh Ambrose . . .” to end of scene. Act 1 #9 (Solo)

I’ve jibe and joke


Act 2 #2 (Solo)

Oh! A private buffoon

Kate: Lyric Soprano. (mid-20’s). Dame Carruthers’ niece. Has been kept under her aunt’s thumb. Most important attribute is to hold the line in the quartet.


Act 2 #5 (Quartet)

Strange adventure

2nd Yeoman: Baritone – upright soldier. Supporting act to Sgt Meryll. Has a couple of lines of dialogue and a solo in Act 1.


Act 1 #2

This the Autumn




We will accept auditions by video for those unable to make it to an audition, and links to this material should be sent to the Auditions Panel at They must be submitted prior to the Audition Dates. Late auditions will only be accepted in extreme circumstances.



The Gilbert and Sullivan Archives website ( has extensive resources for all of the G+S canon, including Vocal Scores and the Libretto in various formats for download if you do not have access to this material otherwise.



We expect performers to be aware of the schedule, and have flagged any unavailabilities the moment you become aware of a clash or potential clash, preferably before the rehearsal period begins. You need to take your own notes and learn your role/music/dialogue/moves so the show can grow from a firm foundation.

All cast members are expected to help sell tickets (because it’s more fun with a full house). There are opportunities and expectations to assist with all things theatrical – set construction, costumes, props, publicity, and administrative tasks. While we are a community group built and run by volunteers, our ambition is to produce the most professional show we can within our modest budget.

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the society by email.