Liverpool’s Royal Court is holding open auditions to find new local acting talent
2 months ago
Liverpool’s Royal Court is holding a series of open auditions to help it discover fresh local acting talent.
The Royal Court wants to create a bank of actors aged 18 and over from anywhere in the region to cast in future productions.
With seven or eight shows all produced in-house for the main stage each year, plus lots in the studio, it has plenty of great roles and wants to make sure it finds exactly the right person for each one.
Iain Christie, head of marketing, explains: “This is an opportunity for us to see new actors who we haven’t seen before. We want to reach out to people who might think the Royal Court’s not for them or they’re not going to be able to get on stage here and get them to come in so we can have a look at them.
“We know there’s quality out there in all areas so we just want to be able to see as much of it as possible.”
Iain says open auditions are something new for the Royal Court. “Usually, if we’re casting a show, the director, the writer and producer will all have ideas about the kind of actor that they want for each role and then we’ll look at certain choices or if we’re opening it up we usually go through Spotlight which is the actor’s directory.
“We’ll say, for instance, we need a woman in her early 30s, brown hair, who can do a Scottish accent, and put all that into a Spotlight search and it gives us all the various people who fit that description.
“But we’ve been aware for a while that there are a lot of actors who aren’t on Spotlight and we might be missing out on talent on our own doorstep so that’s why we decided to run these open auditions.
“The auditions aren’t for a particular role or a particular show but what it does mean is that in a one month or six months or a year, when we’re casting a role, someone might go ‘hang on, what about that girl we saw at the open audition, she was great?’ or ‘what about that fella, he’ll fit in really well to this part’?”
Iain says discovering and showcasing local talent is central to what the Royal Court does, not just on stage but behind the scenes too.
“All our shows are produced in-house, it’s all new writing and we cast everything, build the sets and do the costumes ourselves.
“It’s our aim to put Liverpool lives on stage and you can’t say that if you’re only putting certain aspects on stage.
“It’s not Scousers or bust, it’s people who live in the city – they might have gone to Uni here, they might have moved here from further afield and have made their lives in the city. I think you do have to understand how Liverpool ticks in order to get a Royal Court play on.
“With so many of the characters in the plays we have on, you’ll get people in the audience nudging each other and saying, ‘that’s you’ or ‘that’s your auntie Marge’ so we feel that responsibility now. We want everyone who comes here to be able to recognise somebody on stage because then you’re more likely to get into it and laugh at it.”
Within 24 hours of announcing the open auditions, scheduled for January 24 & 25, the theatre received more than 250 emails from actors but Iain says that shouldn’t put anyone off from getting in touch.
“I think the weight of numbers means we’ll have to extend our original dates but the more the merrier,” he adds.
“The fact that we’ve had so many already shows the wealth of talent in the city and we don’t want to miss out on someone because they think, maybe we don’t want to see them because we do, we want to see everybody.
“You could be the one who walks through the door and in six months’ time we think this is the perfect part for that person. If we don’t see you, we won’t know.”
The deadline for contacting the Royal Court about open auditions is Tuesday January 16. Anyone interested can go to the website and email a CV/headshot and a Spotlight link if you have one to be given a date and time slot.
Find out more about on the website HERE.
Get the latest theatre and culture news for Liverpool HERE.