By Sarah Hunter-Argyle
Young actors will have the chance to work with two of Britain’s most respected stars thanks to the King’s Theatre.
Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellan will appear in Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot in April next year. Open auditions will be held on the 11th and 12th December to find two actors to play the part of ‘the boys’.
“The quite exciting thing is they’re actually going to be acting with Ian and Patrick, rather than just a random walk on part.” Alice Driver, the Education and Learning Manager of the Theatre Royal Haymarket, said.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket, who is producing the play in association with Duncan C. Weldon Productions Ltd, said they thought it was important to cast local actors.
“We could have actually cast some boys from London and toured with them, but we feel quite strongly about helping regenerate the theatre base and the theatre audience.” Driver explains, “It’s a really nice way for people who’ve never gone to anything like this, who don’t have an agent, who don’t know people in the industry, to just come along and be given a go.”
The chosen boys will work alternate nights playing two characters aged ten, but any boy up to the age of 15 will be welcome to audition.
Driver says anyone interested in acting should come along, and they shouldn’t be nervous about working with such big stars.
“Ian and Patrick are really excited about working with the boys… they’re going to be rehearsing with Ian and Patrick the day before [the play opens]. I’m sure there will be initial nerves but after a while they’ll relax, even though they’re working with big names they’re actually very easy going and really nice guys.”
Nigel Le Page, National Director of the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy says: “It is a fantastic opportunity for our children… there are probably not enough opportunities like this. We get approached fairly regularly, but they’re very isolated areas, very specific.”
Glyn Owen, Principal of the Edinburgh and Mid-Scotland branch of the academy tells his pupils – some of whom he is sure will go along – not to take auditions too seriously.
“It’s a nice experience and we always to say take it as a day, take the audition as a fun session, don’t put anything into it apart from the fun of going along and doing it.” He advises.
While it may not be a leading role Driver says the part is pivotal to the play, “so it’s important the boys are quite strong actors.”
Anyone wanting to audition should download an audition pack.