From 9 – 13 June 2015, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is to play host to the world premiere tour of The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, which opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre earlier this year.
The deeply moving and thought-provoking production is based on the best-selling novel by John Boyne. Set during World War II, the story is seen through the innocent eyes of Bruno, the eight year old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and devastating consequences.
Various scenes in this production require the creation of the sense of a crowd – whether this be in Berlin, in the home of the Commandant and his wife or in the camp. Adult supernumerary actors are required to work alongside the show’s ensemble cast in order to help the production achieve such crowd scenes. The production also requires two child supernumeraries to work alongside the child actors in the show to help convey a poignant moment at the beginning of the play.
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre will be holding open auditions for these roles on Friday 22 May at the theatre. Audition times are 3.45pm for children and 4.30pm for adults.
The requirements for adult actors are:
3 men, white (Section 5(2)(a) of the Race Relations Act 1976 applies), very short hair (shaved for preference), thin/slim, 5'7"-6'3", 30-55. Must be confident movers. The men will appear as people of Berlin (opening sequence and two scene changes), completing the suggestion of street life - party guests - applauding Grandmother and greeting Father - servants (costume budget permitting) - "line of thin servants" in The New House - camp inhabitants - rounded up and marched. Please note: this is the most that will be asked of the adult supernumeraries. One of these scenes may not take place.
The requirements for child actors are:
2 boys, white (Section 5(2)(a) of the Race Relations Act 1976 applies) 9-12 years, approx. 4’4”/4’5” in height. Playful, confident, good physicality. They are Bruno's best friends; to play a choreographed game in the opening sequence and will be featured in the first 15 minutes of the show only. Local Chaperones will be appointed to accompany the children at all times.
Please note: These roles are open to non-professional actors only and are voluntary positions within the show for members of the local community. These are non-speaking roles but are a fantastic opportunity for aspiring performers to appear in a professional production.
Adult supernumeraries will be required on stage at various points throughout the whole performance. Child supernumeraries are only required for the first scene and therefore must be collected from the Stage Door from a parent or guardian once their appearance is over, 15 minutes after the beginning of the show.
None of the supernumeraries are required to stay for the curtain call.
All performers will be required from 2pm on Tue 9 June. They will have rehearsals, costume fittings and a dinner break before the first show at 7.15pm.
The performance schedule is as follows:
Tue 9 at 7.15pm, Wed 10 at 1.45pm, Thu 11 at 10am & 1.45pm, Fri 12 at 7.15pm, Sat 13 at 2.30pm & 7.15pm.
Children are required from 1 hour before each show but are free to leave 15 minutes after curtain up. They are required to be collected from stage door at this time. Or, at the latest, they can be collected at the interval. The adults are required from the half hour call (35 mins before curtain up) and are required for the duration of the show which is 2 hours, including an interval.
Each successful supernumerary performer in the show will be provided with a pair of complimentary tickets for a performance of their choice for friends or family members to see the production.
Please submit a brief letter of application via email (noting any stage experience where applicable) along with a recent photograph. Please submit all applications to Claudia Gilmour (Creative Learning Manager – Maternity Cover) to the following address email@example.com.
For the child applications, we will need the following information:
Full name, date of birth, height, full names of Parents/Guardians, address, school name and address, contact phone number, contact email, local council.
Adults need only provide full name, address, contact phone number, contact email.
Closing date for applications: Monday 18 May at 5pm.
Last month, Central Youth Theatre (CYT) unveiled the latest big name to join its fundraising line up for the 2015 Hilarity Charity Gala on Monday 8 June at the Grand Theatre. Greg Davies star of The Inbetweeners, Cuckoo and Man Down will be this year’s headline comedian.
The event takes place at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre on Monday 8 June and is organised by former youth theatre member Tom Parry, one third of comedy sketch group Pappy’s (BBC3 Badults). The event follows on from last year, which saw Josh Widdicombe and Jon Richardson help to pull in an audience of over 900 people to help raise funds for Central Youth Theatre in the wake of losing its council grant support.
“We are really grateful to Greg Davies for joining our line up. He hasn’t appeared on stage for 18 months, so we are sure there are plenty of comedy fans out there who will be overjoyed to get the opportunity to see him perform live”. He goes on to say: “Also new to this year’s bill is one of the comedy circuit’s biggest breakthrough acts of the last year - Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan who has starred on Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week”.
“It’s also exciting that another former member of the Youth Theatre, Celeste Dring, is joining the line up as one half of the comedy sketch group Lazy Susan. They were nominated for best newcomer award at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival and are rising stars on the comedy circuit having just got back from performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. This will be the first time that Celeste will be bringing her act to Wolverhampton to perform in front of a home audience”.
The Gala welcomes back last year’s host – the legendary Perrier Winner Daniel Kitson alongside returning stars - Welsh Comedian Elis James (Star of Crime, 8 Out Of Ten Cats) and Pappys (Badults). Unbelievably there are also even more names still to be announced.
Tom Parry says: “During the ten years I spent with CYT I had many amazing opportunities to travel abroad and to perform in so many different types of productions. Although I currently live and work mainly in London, my heart still lies with the youth theatre and I really believe that it can go on changing young people’s lives for many more years to come”.
Tickets are £21/£16 concessions and you can book by clicking here or call the Grand Theatre box office on 01902 429212.
Following a successful spring season of sell-out shows, Marti Pellow is back by popular demand to continue his role as Narrator for the autumn leg of Blood Brothers, visiting Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from Monday 26 – Saturday 31 October 2015.
Also returning to the show will be Maureen Nolan, who will reprise her role as the tragic Mrs Johnstone.
Marti Pellow is one of music’s most respected artists. For over 30 years he has enjoyed global success: as the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet and as a solo artist. Maureen Nolan has been singing with her sisters since she was nine years old. Together they became one of Europe’s first girl bands – The Nolans.
Hailed as one of the best musicals of all time, Blood Brothers, written by award-winning playwright Willy Russell, has triumphed across the globe. Scooping up no less than four awards for best musical in London and seven Tony Award nominations on Broadway, Blood Brothers is simply unmissable and unbeatable. This epic tale of Liverpool life ran in London’s West End for 24 years and exceeded 10,000 performances. It is one of only three musicals ever to achieve that milestone.
Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving story of twin boys separated at birth, only to be reunited by a twist of fate and a mother’s haunting secret. The memorable score includes A Bright New Day, Marilyn Monroe and the emotionally charged hit Tell Me It’s Not True.
Further casting is to be confirmed and will play at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 26 to 31 October, for more information and to book click here or call 01902 429 212.
Here is our top 15 theatre picks for May (we couldn't narrow it down to 10!). From amateur to professional, get your diaries at the ready to pop some of the most important dates in...
5 to 9 May
The Arcadians at Crescent Theatre
I Love You Because
Starbuck Theatre Company at Ruddock Performing Arts Centre, Birmingham
12 to 16 May
Trinity Players at Sutton Coldfield Town Hall
12 to 16 May
Mellow Dramatics at The Brewhouse Arts Centre
12 to 16 May
Kiss Me, Kate
Bournville Musical Theatre Company at Crescent Theatre
12 to 16 May
The Witches Of Eastwick
Solihull Theatre Company at Solihull Arts Complex
13 to 16 May
Ghost The Musical
WBOS at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
15 to 30 May
The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
21 to 23 May
Coventry Musical Theatre Society at Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
21 to 23 May
Judy - The Songbook Of Judy Garland
New Alexandra Theatre
22 to 23 May
Old Rep Theatre
26 May to 6 June
The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
27 to 30 May
SSA Drama at The Edge
27 to 30 May
SSC Performing Arts at Lichfield Garrick
28 to 30 May
Into The Woods
Backstreet Theatre Company at Prince of Wales Centre, Cannock
Wolverhampton Grand Theatre recently announced their first non-pantomime Relaxed Performance.
On Saturday 5 September at 10:30am, the performance of Dr Seuss’s The Cat In The Hat will be tailored to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed theatre environment, such as those on the Autistic Spectrum and/or with Additional Needs.
The Cat In The Hat will be the third Relaxed Performance to be held at the Grand Theatre, following the sell out success of the 2013 and 2014 relaxed pantomime performances.
This new production of The Cat In The Hat was first presented in a sold out run at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and tells the story of the moment the cat’s tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears around the door. Sally and her brother know that the cat in the hat is the funniest, most mischievous cat they have ever met. With the trickiest of tricks and craziest of ideas, he turns a rainy afternoon into an amazing adventure.
The nature of a Relaxed Performance sees that the rules of the regular theatre environment are adjusted to allow inclusion of patrons who may find the theatregoing experience stressful. Small changes are made to sound levels and lighting intensities to reduce levels of stress that the performance may induce to those with sensory or communication disorders. There are also Chill Out Zones in areas outside of the theatre auditorium. Chill Out Zones provide a quiet and comfortable environment for patrons who need to leave the performance – the show is relayed on screens in the bar areas so that the show isn’t missed entirely.
Grand Theatre Marketing Officer (Access) Janine Graeme said:
“As a theatre we pride ourselves on making live performance accessible to as many people as possible. Feedback from our previous Relaxed Performances has been incredibly positive. Until now, we have only been able to offer this type of performance during the week for the benefit of school groups. We have listened to our audiences and are pleased to announce a Saturday Relaxed Performance for The Cat In The Hat. This will enable families to come along and experience the magic, thrill and excitement that a live performance can evoke. ”
In addition to the work put into Relaxed Performances, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre is proud to be the first theatre to offer theatregoers a unique scheme of Chilled Performances. These particular events take elements of a Relaxed Performance such as the Chill Out Zones, aiming to reduce anxiety levels at particular shows throughout the year for which the performance itself cannot be altered. The next Chilled Performance will be on Wednesday 3 June at 12:30pm for Northern Ballet’s Elves & The Shoemaker.
The Grand Theatre will host an annual pantomime Relaxed Performance of upcoming Peter Pan starring the Chuckle Brothers and John Altman on Thursday 21 January 2016 at 11am.
Tickets for the Relaxed Performance of The Cat In The Hat are £12.50 each.
For more information on any access performances, including Relaxed and Chilled and to make ticket reservations please contact Janine Graeme (Marketing Officer – Access) firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01902 573 311.
South Staffs Musical Theatre Company is starting its search for talented individuals to join them for their 2015 production of the Irving Berlin classic musical, White Christmas, which will be performed at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 1 to 5 December.
An open audition for new members will be held on Tuesday 28 April in Studio 2 at The Newhampton Arts Centre (see map below), starting at 7.30pm. Please bring a song of your choice, preferably on backing track, and be prepared to do some movement and to read a piece of libretto from the show, which you will be given on the evening.
The group are particularly keen to recruit dancers with strong tap technique, gentlemen for both ensemble and principal roles and ladies suitable to take principal roles. However, please note that the ladies ensemble is complete. Trained dancers please prepare a short routine of your choice.
If you are interested in auditioning please send a message to South Staffs Musical Theatre Company via their Facebook page here.
On Monday 20 April Bilston Operatic will be holding auditions for their upcoming production of Hairspray, which will be playing at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre from 10 to 14 November.
Hairspray follows the story of Tracy Turnblad who is given a place on her favourite show, The Corny Collins Show, but she can’t stand that they won’t allow integration and launches a campaign to make it happen. Filled with brilliant songs, this musical has a huge heart that will have you dancing in your seats.
Those interested in auditioning are required to sing a song of their choice and perform a short piece of poetry, prose or dialogue, again from choice. If auditionees require someone to read in a part, this can be arranged.
Auditions for Bilston Operatic's production of Hairspray will be taking place on Monday 20 April at Springvale Sports and Social Club (see map below). If you wish to audition for the company then please email email@example.com for more information and an application form.
The West End smash-hit Ghost The Musical made its Midlands premiere at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre back in June 2013 and now it returns with a production from West Bromwich Operatic Society. The company, who perform the musical from Wednesday 13 to Saturday 16 May present a first for the show – being the only amateur production to date to perform the show on the same stage as the professional version.
Based on the phenomenal Oscar® winning movie that captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation back in the 90s, Ghost The Musical is a timeless fantasy about the power of love. Young professional Sam Wheat is trapped as a ghost between this world and the next trying to communicate with girlfriend Molly through a phoney psychic – Oda Mae Brown, in the hope of saving her from his murderer in a rollercoaster ride of romance and comedy.
Stepping into the original movie actor Patrick Swayze’s shoes is John Wetherall from Great Barr as Sam Wheat. John has been with the company for ten years and previous roles have included The Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Albin/Zaza in La Cage Aux Folles. He plays alongside Laura Stanford from Wolverhampton as Molly Jenson. Also from Great Barr, Psychic Oda Mae Brown will be played by Laura Wynter, Carl by George Stuart (Wolverhampton), Willie Lopez by James Mateo-Salt (Great Barr), Clara by Lizzie Buckingham and Louise by Charlotte DeAbreu (both from Walsall) and the Subway Ghost by Tipton’s Maison Kelley. Liam Sargeant from Wolverhampton will understudy the role of Sam Wheat and Olivia Jones (Sedgley) will understudy Molly Jensen. The cast is completed by an experienced company of local performers in supporting roles and as the dance ensemble. Ghost The Musical is directed by Simon Pugh. Musical Direction is by Adam Joy and choreography by Claire Flavell.
To book tickets for West Bromwich Operatic Society's production of Ghost The Musical, which runs from 13 - 16 May click here, or call the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre's box office on 01902 429 212.
Find WBOS on Twitter here.
Find WBOS on Facebook here.
Watch The TRailer...
Here is our top 10 theatre picks for April. From amateur to professional, get your diaries at the ready to pop some of the most important dates in...
31 March to 26 April
Shrek The Musical
1 to 3 April
South Staffs Musical Theatre Company at Wolverhampton Grammar School
7 to 11 April
Tamworth Arts Club at Landau Forte Sixth Form Centre
8 to 11 April
A View From The Bridge
Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
14 to 18 April
Peterbrook Players at Solihull Arts Complex
21 April to 2 May
21 to 25 April
Studley Operatic Society at Redditch Palace Theatre
23 to 25 April
A Man For All Seasons
Union Theatre at St Edburgha’s Church, Yardley
27 April to 2 May
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
28 April to 2 May
Solihull On Stage at Solihull Arts Complex
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