Steampunk Auditions

Apr 12 2017 | By More

Casting call for #EdFringe Steampunk Opera

New Edinburgh company Thistle N’ Thorn productions is to stage Paul Shapera’s steampunk opera, Dolls of New Albion at edFringe 2017 and has issued an open casting call to audition for the production.

Initial audition is by video or audio submission with a deadline of Sunday 16 April 2017. The production will be staged at Venue 9, theSpace Uk, Niddry Street, EH1 1TH.

Cover Art for Paul Shapera’s music album by Marjolijn de Korte.

Dolls of New Albion is a 90 minute, four act show. The music was first released by Paul Shapera in 2012 and it follows four generations of McAlistairs in the fantastical city of New Albion.

Annabel McAlistair is your average mad scientist hell-bent on bringing the love of her life back from the dead by binding his soul into the body of a life-sized clockwork doll. Over the four acts and four generations, Shapera explores how the people of New Albion adjust to the dead walking among them, and how one woman’s actions affect the city for generations to come.

The show is available to listen to on Paul Shapera’s Bandcamp page: Auditionees should familiarise themselves with the music and submit a video/audio of themselves singing one of the songs from the show.

Anyone who wants to audition should contact Thistle ‘n Thorn productions by email at The company will forward more information about the show, including character descriptions, as well as backing tracks to use in the audition video.

Character breakdown

The following video is of a workshop performance at the Ovalhouse in 2012, directed and produced by Mark Swetz. This Compañía Y production used only four performers, while Thistle N’ Thorn’s production will use nine, as detailed below.

The Narrator (mostly middle register alto/mezzo-soprano, one song in head register soprano): The storyteller of the tale of New Albion. She explains how the city evolves as the generations pass, and interacts with the characters as they go.

Annabel (Soprano): A mad scientist, determined to succeed in everything she does. She brings her dead love, Jasper, back to life, in the form of a life-size clockwork doll. .

Jasper (Tenor): The “dead guy”. Annabel brings him back to life, but he wishes nothing more than to return to Elysium, where he was happy.

Edgar (Countertenor – tenor might cope, but some sections are quite high): Annabel’s son. Recently dumped by his fiancee, Faye, he will do anything to get her back. Including bringing her dead father back to life using his mother’s notes and socially destroying the man she left him for.

Faye (In range of both soprano and alto): Edgar’s ex-fiancee. She finds Edgar selfish and immature, and wants nothing to do with him. She eventually gets back with him, but not willingly.

Byron (Tenor): Edgar and Faye’s son. Head of a political group called the Voodoopunks, who wish to see the dead dolls in power, a s they are unable to lie. He holds rallies and meetings and such to stir up the crowds.

Amelia (Soprano – descant harmony in one number): Also a leader of the Voodoopunks. She has an unhappy home life, and finds solace with the Voodoopunks, and the songs the dolls sing to her.

Priscilla (Soprano/Mezzo – some higher sections): Byron’s daughter. She never leaves the house, as she is afraid of the world outside. She spends her days inside, playing cards with Jasper. She would do anything for him, including sacrificing herself so he can go back to Elysium.

Soldier 7285 (Any – some sections might be just out of range for lower singers): A new recruit of the Police State. Expected to be a mindless drone, he falters when he is told to shoot Priscilla. He goes on to lead a revolution against the corrupt officials.

Listings and links

Thistle N Thorn on Facebook: ThistleNThornProductions

Paul Shapera’s Bandcamp page:

Dolls of New Albion on Steam Punk Wiki:

Paul Shapera’s blog about the writing and making of the show:

Dolls of New Albion – a Steampunk Opera
TheSpace @ Niddry Street, Niddry Street, EH1 1TH
Monday 14 – Saturday 19 August 2017
Evenings: 10.15pm.


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