Directed by Linda Gefken

Ladies in Black by Carolyn Burns with music by Tim Finn is a wonderful musical that follows the lives of the women working in Ladies Wear in a big department store in the 1950s over the Christmas holidays.

Based on an Australian novel “The Women in Black” by Madeleine St John and spawning the “relentlessly optimistic” 2018 movie, this “feel-good show is a unicorn of the stage: a full-blown, home-grown musical that actually works” (Sydney Morning Herald).

Ladies in Black will be directed for the Coolum Theatre Players by Linda Gefken
(We Will Rock You, Spamalot, Sweet Charity), auditioned in June/July,
staged in November and will be a visual delight as well a musical treat
featuring well known faces and newcomers.

Audition Requirements

Open Auditions: Choose either Monday 2 August at 7.30pm or Wednesday 4 at 6.30pm. Wear comfortable shoes (no thongs) that you can dance in. Feel free to dress up.

Auditions will be videoed to aid the director’s memory.

All auditionees will be taught an excerpt of a show song, and then some choreography and perform in groups.

For a lead role prepare a song of your choice with a backing track on your device or usb.
Remember; you are trying to sell yourself and your talent to the director – use movement and facials,

For a lead role and/ or speaking part excerpts will be available on the night.

Solo song excerpts should be memorised to allow for your interpretation.
Script excerpts do not need to be memorised.


All cast must be a financial member of Coolum Theatre Players, particularly for insurance cover, prior to commencement of rehearsals.

 Rehearsals will be held Monday and Wednesday evenings at the Coolum Civic Centre commencing Monday 16th August.

That means arriving ready to begin– Mondays at 7.30 pm to at least 10pm and Wednesdays at 6.15pm to at least 9.30pm.

Weekend Rehearsal Sunday 14 November (Time TBC 9am-10pm)
Technical rehearsals Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November 9am – 5pm
Tech Crew (and some cast voluntary) Friday 19 November 5pm-late

Show dates:  There are currently 6 scheduled performances:
Friday 26 & Saturday 27 November @ 7.30pm Sunday 28 December @ 2pm
Mid Run Rehearsal Wednesday 2 December
Friday 3 & Saturday 4 December @ 7.30pm Sunday 5 December @ 2pm followed by Cast/ Crew Party
(be prepared for a 5pm/ 11.30am make-up call – but usually 6pm/ 12.30pm)
However, if due to popular demand shows sell out we will look at accommodating additional shows over these 2 weekends.

Cast / Character List

Ladies in Black is not only a coming of age story for a teenager in 1950s Australia, it also follows the lives of other women in the
Ladies department in a major store in the heart of Sydney. We follow the stories of growth and change of several of the women:
a coming of age, a marriage breakdown and finding new love.  Also covering issues of the time: a woman’s place is in the home having babies,
casual racism and “a girl doesn’t need a university education”.

Ladies in Black is written for a small cast and can be performed with a minimal cast of 11 with doubling.
The director intends to cast roles individually with minimal doubling and all cast members will also be part of the chorus/ ensemble.
It is anticipated we will have a cast of 16-20.

We are also looking for Stage and Tech Crew, and Front of House (ushers etc).

(Ages are stage ages of course)

LISA. (called LESLEY by her parents). 16. A very large role. A thin, shy bookworm, who is described as having neither style nor beauty,
yet emerges with both at the end of the story. Highly intelligent, and desperate to learn more about literature,
her holiday job at Goodes teaches her more about life than she could have imagined. G#3-D5.

MR MILES. 40-50. Mr Miles is stiff, conservative and authoritarian.
He loves his daughter but firmly believes a woman’s place is in the home and is baffled by her intellect and ambition. G2-D4.

MRS MILES. late 30-50 Lisa’s mother. She dotes on her daughter, is proud of her and wants the best for her,
but is nervous of rocking the boat and upsetting her conservative husband.
A product of her era, she is neither educated nor sophisticated, but her love for her daughter ultimately gives her courage. D4-A4.

PATTY. 30s, unhappily married shop assistant at Goodes. She has failed to have a baby and her husband is chronically uncommunicative,
so she has become stitched up and a little malicious as a result. Underneath she is vulnerable and unhappy. G3-Eb5.

FRANK. 30-40s Patty’s husband. Described by others as ‘gormless’ Frank is a tile salesman with little ambition or vitality.
Humiliated by his potential responsibility for his childless marriage, he hides his low self-esteem in taciturn introspection. G#2-G4.

MAGDA. An exotic Hungarian of about 40. In charge of Model Gowns at Goodes, she is the embodiment of European style, glamorous,
educated and beautifully presented. While undoubtedly somewhat forbidding, she has warmth, wit and great insight. A3-E5.

STEFAN. 40s Stefan is an ebullient Hungarian intellectual and bon vivant. He is a passionate enthusiast for all things literary.
Doting husband of Magda. D2-C4.

FAY. Late 20-30s shop assistant at Goodes. Pretty and cheerful, but has had a series of unfortunate relationships with unsuitable men,
so she feels insecure about ever getting married and being considered respectable. G3-Eb5.

MISS CARTWRIGHT. 40-50. Miss Cartwright is the blue-stocking, crisply authoritative manager of the Ladies Department at Goodes.
Definitely stylish, she is all business, having dedicated her life to it, but is not without compassion or wit. A3-C#5. (top note not as solo).

MISS JACOBS. 60s + Miss Jacobs has worked in Goodes her whole life. Nervous and intense,
she lives alone and has a sense of tragedy about her. E3-C5.

MYRA. mid to late twenties. Myra is Fay’s best friend – flirty, cheerful and out for a good time. Ensemble singing.

MRS CROWN. 50-60s Mrs Crown is Patty’s mother.
Now widowed, she is a rough diamond who has brought up three daughters and doesn’t beat around the bush. Ensemble singing.

DAWN. 20-30s. Dawn is Patty’s sister – forthright, cynical and rough round the edges. Ensemble singing.

JOY. 20-30s Joy is Patty’s older sister. Exhausted by motherhood and housework, she doesn’t live up to her name. Ensemble singing.

LLOYD & FRED. 30s. Lloyd and Fred are two Australian men on the look-out for a good time. Ensemble singing.

For further enquiries contact the director by email:

Auditions will be held 2nd August @ 7.30 & 4th August @ 6.30pm
at the Coolum Civic Centre, Park Street, Coolum Beach