Archives - Audition: 84 Charing Cross Road

by Helene Hanff
Adapted for the stage by James Roose-Evans

Directed by Rob Graham

Sunday 17th September 2017 at 11am in Room One

Playing dates: 19th to 27th January 2018

84 Charing Cross Road is a delightfully nostalgic play about the developing relationship between Helene Hanff, an irascible New York writer with a predilection for English literature, and Frank Doel, then manager of the eponymous dusty bookstore in London who seeks to meet her voracious literary appetite.

The ages quoted below are the actual ages / ageing of the real-life people on which the play is based.

Although the play is largely a two-hander, the supporting cast play a large part in the production (handling books / food parcels / reacting to Helene’s letters) and many are on-stage for a large proportion of the play. There are also one or two nice cameo roles.

  • Helene Hanff (ages 33-55) This is a fabulous lead female role. An acerbic, witty, generous, brash New Yorker who is a self-taught literary buff. A substantial part (she has approx. 50% of the dialogue) and on stage for much of the play, this actress will have the added challenge that, despite sharing the stage with the rest of the cast, at no time does she have eye contact with them.
  • Frank Doel (ages 41-60) Similarly this is a fantastic lead male role. An understated individual with an English stiff upper lip, bookstore manager Frank gradually mellows as the play, and his friendship with Helene, develops. Another substantial part and on stage for much of the play with c. 40% of the dialogue.
  • Cecily Parr (ages 28-31) One of the key bookstore staff. With c.5% of the dialogue this is a small speaking part but Cecily is integral to the play with much to do and is on stage for c.60% of the play.
  • Megan Wells (ages 23-30) Another key worker in the bookstore and younger friend of Cecily. A very small speaking part, but again on stage for c.60% of the play.
  • Bill Humphries (ages 26-42) Like Megan, a very small speaking part as one of the bookstore employees, but Bill is present on stage pretty much throughout the entire play.
  • George Martin (ages 58-61) The oldest bookstore employee with just the one line (no pressure!), but on stage for half the first act.
  • Maxine Stuart (age 33) A brief but lovely and important cameo role, Maxine is Helene’s New York actress friend who visits London and provides her with a poignant and detailed description of the bookstore. Has the potential to double up with Mrs Todd’s role.
  • Mrs Todd (ages 45-50) A very small speaking part, Mrs Todd is a later addition to the bookstore staff and appears in the last couple of ‘scenes’ in the second act. Has the potential to double up with Maxine’s role.
  • Office Boy or Girl (ages 16-21) Also a later addition to the bookstore staff and appears in the final few ‘scenes’. This is a non-speaking part for a young actor/actress.

Depending on the level of interest, there may also be opportunities for other non-speaking roles – customers, passers-by, even a John Lennon lookalike!

Rehearsals will start mid-October. Scripts / audition pieces are available from Rob Graham.


Rob Graham
Telephone: 07825 567111
Send email: 

Keith Thompson
Production Manager
Telephone: 01438 840553
Send email: 

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