The Sale of the Genesian Theatre's Historic Premises

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The Unexpected Guest

by Agatha Christie

Directed by Jess Davis

Season: 14th July - 1st September 2018
Preview night 13th July
Friday and Saturday nights at 7.30pm
Sunday matinée at 4.30pm

Play Reading Night

You are invited to an open reading of the play on Tuesday 24th April, at 7pm at The Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney.

All Genesian members, guests of members, and non-members are welcome to attend the informal reading to hear the play read aloud and ask the director any questions you may have about the play or auditions.

Audition Information

Auditions will be held on Saturday 28th April (10am - 4pm) and Sunday 29th April (10am - 2.30pm) at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney. Callbacks will be held the following Tuesday evening (1st May), and a first read for the successful cast should be held on Sunday 6th May.

Please email Jess Davis at to book an audition time. Please attach a headshot/photo, and a CV/brief description of your experience, as well as listing the character/s you are interested in auditioning for and your preferred time/s to audition. All attempts will be made to ensure you receive your preferred time, however there may be some unavoidable changes. Further audition information will be available after expressing your interest.

Essential Information

All characters will require an English accent. The characters of Richard Warwick and Sergeant Cadwallader will be doubled.

Please note that this is an unpaid production.

Rehearsal Information

Rehearsals will be held in Marrickville, and may also be held at the theatre near Town Hall. Both rehearsal venues are easily accessible by train and/or bus.

Rehearsals will be three times a week - two weeknight evenings and a weekend day, depending on cast availability. Not all cast will be required at every rehearsal. All cast must be available for tech week - from Sunday 8th July to Wednesday 11th July evenings. All cast must be available for all performances - Friday/Saturday/Sunday evenings from 13th July to 1st September. It is a long run, which gives the cast a great amount of time to get comfortable and play to full houses.

The Unexpected Guest

Late on a foggy November evening, a broken-down stranger stumbles into the study of a nearby house, looking for a telephone and some assistance. What he finds is far more sinister - the body of Richard Warwick slumped in his wheelchair with his young wife Laura standing in the shadows, clutching a revolver.

The stranger, revealed to be one Michael Starkwedder, agrees to help Laura Warwick conceal her crime and defer suspicion onto someone else, however the only problem is that the dead man had so many enemies, it's hard to point suspicion on just one person. The members of the household all awake after the second, planned gunshot rings through the house and whilst all are shocked, no one appears devastatingly surprised. Enter the Inspector, his sergeant and a mysterious suspect from Warwick's past planted by Starkwedder to ensure Laura's innocence... But did Laura Warwick really kill her husband? As more and more suspects reveal their motives, one gets the feeling that the old house could hide more than one murderer.

In true Agatha Christie style, this who-dunnit will leave audiences guessing until the last moments of the play. Each clue that is revealed casts a shadow of suspicion over even the sweetest of characters, and will divide audience opinions in the foyer during intermission!


Richard Warwick Male 35-50 Once a big game hunter, he was mauled by a lion and wheelchair bound until his untimely death. Warwick has no lines, however is a vital character on stage for the first scene.

Laura Warwick Female 25-35 Laura is the long suffering wife of Richard Warwick, and secret lover to Major Julian Farrer. She is one of the prime suspects in Warwick's death.

Michael Starkwedder Male 30-40 Michael is the 'unexpected guest' who happens upon the crime scene at the opening of the play. He is confident, calculating and enjoys playing detective.

Miss Bennett Female 45-65 Miss Bennett is the household nurse, primarily charged with looking after Jan Warwick. She is nosey and manipulative.

Jan Warwick Male 16-20 Jan is the younger half brother of Richard Warwick. He is innocent and childish for his age, detests his older half brother and is a prime suspect in his murder. The actor playing Jan should look as young as possible (mid to late teens).

Mrs Warwick Female 65-80 Mrs Warwick is the mother of Richard Warwick and, although old, is not senile. She is aware of her son's shortcomings and motives that others might have had to kill him.

Henry Angell Male 40-60 Angell is the nurse/manservant to Richard Warwick. He is adept at blackmail and carries himself with a suspicious and supercilious manner.

Sergeant Cadwallader Male 20-30 A young police sergeant with a poetic streak.

Inspector Thomas Male 40-60 A senior member of the police force, leading the investigation into Richard Warwick's death.

Julian Farrer Male 35-50 The front runner in the local election of the small Welsh town, and secret lover of Laura Warwick. He is a chief suspect when knowledge of his affair with Laura becomes known.

About the Director

Jess Davis

Jess is a recent graduate of the University of New England with a Bachelor of Theatre and Performance. Whilst at University, her directing highlights included Manhole by Alan Lock, and Assistant Director to Dr Julie Shearer on Christine Evans' Trojan Barbie. Since leaving Armidale in 2017, Jess has now directed for Short+Sweet (2018 People's Choice Finals, Come Die With Me), Crash Test Drama (2017 Finals, The Fictitious History of the Naming of the Walnutmeg), and directed the Chekhov comedies The Bear and The Proposal for the Genesian Theatre in 2017 as an extended workshop.

As an actor, Jess has both stage and screen credits. For Winona Winona Entertainment: Bugs (2018, Sheridan - feature film). For the Genesian Theatre: A Murder is Announced (2017, Mitzi), Norma (2017, Norma - workshop). For Endless Night Theatre Company: Blithe Spirit (2017, Edith). For VDay: The Vagina Monologues (2017, company). For the University of New England: Trojan Barbie (2016, Lotte), The Addams Family Musical (2016, Morticia), Grease (2015, Marty Maraschino), The Bear, (2015, Elena), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2014, Hermia), Bed (2014, Daisy), As You Like It (2014, Celia).