The Setup is being performed at Guildford Fringe Festival on 15 July for one night. 

The show needs to be cast. If you are interested please send your CV and head shot to

Show  and casting information:

New York state. 2015. A nondescript box room.

Two men sit, back to back, on simple chairs. Handcuffed.

There’s been a police raid on a suspicious business address and most of the staff have been taken into custody. Due to a snafu, there weren’t enough cars to take everyone, so these two men have been put in a holding location onsite.

Waiting. Time drags. They get talking. They get angry. They tell tales. They form an uneasy bond.

Until a truth comes out. And another. A confession.

In strides a cop. Looks like it’s all been a setup.

Or has it?



Detective Jack Selsey

Mid-30s. An undercover cop all his life. Very good at his job. Chose the job due to suitability not money. At odds with his boss Marshall, thanks to a mess that they got into in the past at Englewood, where they were both undercover but Marshall slipped up the ordered Jack to kill someone. His intelligence is based around his job.

Has a daughter but is not married any more. Tries to do the right thing.

  • Unaware that Frank/Ray is an undercover cop.
  • Obviously aware that he himself is on an undercover operation within a gang.
  • Aware that he is deep undercover with FBI and pretending to be on the take.
  • Aware that there will be a sting operation against Marshall but doesn’t know when. Knows that there is a trigger word which allows him to reveal himself as rotten – this will be the end of the sting when the FBI know Marshall is watching.
  • As an undercover cop, aware that getting accidentally caught up in a raid is part of the job. As such his instant reaction is not to reveal his identity until sure of his ground – and a trigger word announces this.

Jack has about 40% of the lines in the 1 hour play and is on stage permanently. Ideally a New York area accent.


‘Frank’ / Ray Redmond

Mid-30s upwards. A deep undercover cop, who was a legend in his field but then his death was faked so he could work for the FBI. He’s now undercover again, playing a police informant who was caught up in the raid, but in the room as a foil to Jack to help him with the setup. His real role is only revealed towards the end.

Intelligent, but his scruffy looks belie this. Not easily riled. Speaks, at least during the setup phase, downmarket and very colloquially, but measured.

  • Aware of everything (as he is essentially FBI)

Frank has about 30% of the lines in the 1 hour play and is on stage for 3 of the 4 ‘scenes’.

Ideally a New York area accent.


Captain Marshall Fenway

Mid-40s upwards. His straight laced approach is at odds with the fact that he is corrupt. Hates Jack because he’s good at being undercover, an essentially maverick role. Friends with the DA, who is also corrupt. Speaks quite properly and seems calm but has a temper on him.

  • Unaware that he is the subject of a sting.
  • Aware that Jack is ‘on the take’ but only because Jack has deliberately left clues for him.
  • Unaware who Frank/Ray is. Just thinks he is a gang member.

Marshall has about 20% of the lines in the 1 hour play and is on stage for 2 of the 4 ‘scenes’. Generic US accent is fine.


FBI Agent Ed Richards

Mid-30s upwards. Mastermind of the operation. Typical FBI suit. Has been chasing the targets for a long time.

  • FBI could not tell Jack everything as the initial conversation had to look real.
  • FBI alert Marshall to the initial conversation, which is happening outside his jurisdiction.
  • FBI essentially choreographed the gang raid with local (not Marshall’s precinct) police. If Marshall is rotten, who else in his precinct could be?
  • FBI have been chasing the mafia, and have known that Marshall is rotten but needed his confession.

Ed has about 10% of the lines in the 1 hour play and is on stage for 1 of the 4 ‘scenes’.

Generic US accent is fine.


Un-named uniform cop

Any age. A small role with 1 line and limited stage time. Generic US accent is fine.

Casting breakdown for The Setup

By Guildford Fringe Festival

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!