Two Cities Twelve Casting Blog
How do you go about casting groups of 12 local people in nine theatres around the UK? Associate Producer Neale Birch writes about the enormous challenge in preparation for the tour of A Tale of Two Cities…
We’ve now finished our second week of rehearsals for A Tale of Two Cities. A big responsibility that I have on this production is the ensemble cast, which is going to be so integral to the telling of this great story. We have been touring large-scale productions for 20 years now, and this is the sixth production that we have done that has required an ensemble cast. We put quite a bit of effort into engaging the local communities; through our extensive education programme, through community projects and through our Ambassador scheme. What we hope is that we can create or develop in those communities an interest and liking for theatre. The most powerful way for us to achieve that is to offer people the opportunity to appear on their local stage, as part of a fully professional production with directors, designers and actors who are at the top of their game. Every ensemble actor we have used on previous productions has had a fantastic time. It has been so exciting for them, a huge learning opportunity and a thrill for their families and friends.
I have had the chance throughout the summer to visit each of the theatres we are playing A Tale Of Two Cities, and hold auditions for those ensemble roles. I have met some very talented people, and it has been great to see so many wanting to be involved and putting themselves forward to be auditioned by us. There can be so many reasons why one person auditioning is more suitable for this production than another. As is often the case, I am looking for a mixture of ages and types, so someone’s height might prevent me using them on this occasion, or might make them perfect for the ensemble this week. Of course, I try to make the auditions as daunting and scary as I can – joke! On the contrary, I want to relax the actors and make them feel comfortable, so that they are best able to show me something of who they are. It is also important that I find people that are going to be able to work under the pressures that we face, both in terms of logistics and aesthetics.
A Tale Of Two Cities
Tuesday 11 to Saturday 15 October 2016
Grand Theatre, Blackpool
Thurs & Sat Matinees 2pm
Opening Night Offer: 2 for 1
Tickets £19.50 to £24.50
Concessions £3 off (Evenings only)
Grand Friends £3 off (Excluding opening night)
School Groups £9.50 (Tues to Fri only)
Groups 10+ £4 off, 20+ £5 off
Under 26s £12.50 (first 50 tickets, weekdays only; subject to availability)