Chess Auditions (Download as PDF)

Auditions for our July 2020 production of Chess will take place on:

Saturday 16th November 2019 at 10am

at St Joseph's Primary School, Castleford, WF10 4JB

(Call-backs will be in the afternoon, potentially up to 6pm)

A collective sing-through of audition pieces will take place on Wednesday 13th November at 7:30pm at the same venue.

The backing tracks provided below will be used in the audition. (The melody line has been added to these tracks to make it easier for auditionees)

Show Information
Rehearsals: Tuesday and Thursday evenings at St Joseph’s School. Sundays may also be included from May / June onwards.

Performances: Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th July 2020, 7.15 pm each evening.

Venue: John Godber Theatre, New College Pontefract, Park Lane, Pontefract WF8 4QR


Plot summary

In this energetic rock musical, the ancient game of chess becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, competitive gamesmanship, super-power politics and international intrigue.  The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and a Hungarian-American female assistant, who arrives at the international chess match in Merano with the American, but falls for the Russian.  From Merano to Bangkok, the players, lovers, politicians and spies gleefully manipulate … and are manipulated themselves.

The action takes place in and around the arenas of the World Chess Championships in Merano, Italy, and one year later in Bangkok, Thailand.

Time – the Cold War Era of the early 1980s.

Character profiles / audition pieces

Frederick Trumper   
Male; lead role; playing age 25-40; rock tenor (to C).
American chess champion: arrogant, temperamental, prideful; a genius, dangerously obsessed … but somehow, we find ourselves attracted to him.

Audition: Pity the Child, page 242 to end of bar 64. (Score) (Backing Track)

Florence Vassy
Female; lead role; playing age 25-40; mezzo/belt (to E).
Frederick’s chess second: Hungarian born; she’s worked hard to become the cosmopolitan woman she is today – and sometimes tries too hard.  Starts by focusing on the game (and Frederick), ends focusing on her heart (and Anatoly).

Audition: Nobody’s Side, page 194 to end of bar 45. (Score) (Backing Track)

Anatoly Sergievsky
Male; lead role; playing age 25-40; baritone (to G#).
Russian chess champion: brilliant, unexpectedly charming, romantic; married but falls in love with Florence; must decide between duty to his country and love.

Audition: Anthem, page 280 E to end. (Score) (Backing Track)

Walter de Courcey
Male; supporting role; playing age 40-60; bass-baritone (down to G#).
Head of the American delegation: marketing agent, seemingly respectable, of substance, trustworthy – but secretly a CIA agent.

Audition: Arbiter, page 121 to end of bar 78. (Score) (Backing Track)

Alexander Molokov
Male; supporting role; playing age 40-65; bass (down to F#).
Anatoly’s second: KGB agent and head of the Russian delegation, politically manipulative, intellectually formidable and fiercely patriotic.  Russian accent helpful.

Audition: The Soviet Machine, page 319 to end of bar 72. (Score) (Backing Track)

Male or Female; supporting role; playing age 30s; rock high baritone or contralto (to A).
Judge / referee of chess matches: all business, cares only for the match and not for politics; authoritative with clockwork precision.  Must move well.

Audition: Arbiter, page 121 to end of bar 78. (Score) (Backing Track)

Svetlana Sergievskaya
Female; supporting role; playing age 20-40; strong belt voice.
Anatoly’s wife: domestic, wholesome, still effortlessly elegant; loves her husband, but knows she can never combat his flaws and obsessions.

Audition: Someone Else’s Story, page 493 – full song (Score) (Backing Track)


If you are invited to take part in the recalls, then these are the further audition pieces you will need to be familiar with:

Svetlanda & Florence:I Know Him So Well, page 393 – full song (Score) (Backing Track)

Anatoly & Florence: You and I, page 312, bars 66 – 128 (Score) (Backing Track)

Frederick & Florence: Budapest is Rising, page 184 – full song (Score) (Backing Track)


Please complete the form below if you would like to audition. If you have any questions, please e-mail us.

Good luck to all our auditionees!


Audition Policy and Guidance (.doc 54Kb)