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York Theatre Royal is in the middle of an extraordinary year and this means an extraordinary pantomime, Dick Whittington (and his meerkat) which this year is taking place at The Signal Box Theatre at the National Railway Museum. The theatre is looking for talented girls to take part in the country’s most famous pantomime alongside the UK’s longest running pantomime dame Berwick Kaler.
To take part in auditions, girls are required to be aged between 16 and 18 years old and must be 16 by the 16th November. Some previous acting, singing or dancing experience will be required as well as energy and enthusiasm. The successful applicants will have the chance to join Berwick Kaler, Martin Barrass (who recently played Mr Perks in The Railway Children), David Leonard and Suzy Cooper for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform York’s legendary pantomime at The Signal Box Theatre.
Rehearsals will take place from Monday 16 November and will be mainly on evenings and weekends. Two teams of young people will alternate performances, which will take place between Thursday 10 December 2015 and Sunday 24 January 2016. These performances include some midweek matinees during term time. There are no performances on Christmas Day, however anyone interested in taking part must be available for all other shows.
Artistic Director Damian Cruden said:
This year we will be looking for a young people’s cast of 16 – 18 year olds to play the rats. This is a little bit different to what we usually do, but then everything about this year’s panto is different! We know some of the younger babbies amongst you might be disappointed but it’s the first time we’ve been able to offer 16-18 year olds the chance to be in panto. Working with the museum it is really important that we considered fully the health and safety implications for younger children on the set and that we keep everyone safe in what will be a panto of a different scale this year! Next year, back in the theatre, we expect to open up the age range again for younger people to be involved, but for one year only you older teens have the opportunity to join the cast.
Young people who would like to join the cast and feel that they and their family can make a strong commitment to the pantomime are encouraged to come along and audition. The auditions are taking place on Saturday 17 October in the Billiard Room at York Theatre Royal’s De Grey Rooms. Those with surnames A to L need to register at 10.30am followed by an 11am – 12.30pm audition. Those with surnames M – Z register at 1.30pm with their audition taking place from 2pm – 3.30pm.
Young people will need to bring a photograph of themselves and wear appropriate clothing and footwear to run and dance in. Soft shoes such as plimsolls or trainers are recommended and as well as movement there will be dancing, singing in groups and some sight reading from a script. To gauge an idea of numbers, anyone wishing to audition is asked to visit the Dick Whittington page on yorktheatreroyal.co.uk or register their interest online by clicking here and download an application form by clicking here to bring on the day. There is no need for anyone to contact the theatre in advance of the auditions; they are asked to simply come on the day with their completed forms.
Tickets are on sale now for Dick Whittington (and his meerkat) priced at £12 to £32.50 (£1 transaction fee per booking) from York Theatre Royal Box Office on 01904 623568, in person or online at yorktheatreroyal.co.uk.