Audition Call Out-The Takeover

Published: 12th April 2018

Reece Connolly, The Takeover’s first Young Writer in Residence, from Prudhoe, Northumberland

In 2018 we will be building on the success of our Takeover Theatre Residency programme by creating an exciting development opportunity for eight young actors aged 17 to 25 years old from the region.  The play, ‘WORMTOWN’ is written by local writer, Reece Connolly. Reece is the venue’s first Takeover Young Writer in Residence, and we are delighted to produce his play.

The Customs House, South Shields are delighted to be casting for a new piece of writing by the first Takeover Writer in Residence at The Customs House, which will be staged on Friday 1 June at 7.30pm at The Customs House, and again on Saturday 16 June at 7.30pm as part of the region’s first Youth Fringe Festival.

About the play

Something is terrorising the Lambton Council Estate, and it’s not the bulldozers and wrecking balls that have started pulling the towers down.

This thing hunts at night, and its hunger and taste for destruction is growing with each day. Streetlights are uprooted like toothpicks, the water’s started tasting funny. People are going missing.

Those who’ve seen it and lived describe it as a giant, ferocious worm.

But the police won’t listen and the news doesn’t care. As the beast continues to grow and the estate becomes increasingly cut off from the world, it falls to a small group of unlikely heroes to go into battle and save a community that no one else will.

But are a bunch of misfit teens and a mysterious old woman enough to stop a force as powerful as it is ancient?

About the company

Reece Connolly is a North East-born and bred playwright and theatre-maker, and has been based in East London since studying Drama at Queen Mary University. He now splits his time between London and the North East.

He is a member and founder of Red Cape Black Cape Theatre – one of New Diorama Theatre’s 2017 Emerging Graduate Companies and shortlisted for Pleasance Theatre’s 2018 Charlie Hartill Award – writing, directing, and performing in shows which have sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe [A FISTFUL OF HUNNY – 2015] and the London Horror Festival [THE STOMACHING – 2017].

He has also written for Flux Theatre, The Pensive Federation, and Comedians Theatre Company, and been part of two consecutive Writers Groups at the Royal Court Theatre facilitated by Ali McDowell. He has also had work shortlisted by the Soho Theatre, and had work performed at Vaults Waterloo, Tristan Bates Theatre, Theatre N16, and Live Theatre.

We are also delighted to have Jake Smith on board, who is a director from the North East (Resident Director Almeida Theatre, National Theatre Directors Programme.)

Reece will be mentored by writer Laura Turner, (BBC EastEnders: E20; Almeida Theatre; Associate Writer, Petersfield Shakespeare Festival; Chapterhouse Theatre Company).

The Customs House will be producing the show.

The roles are as follows:

 J – mid-teens. Quiet, logical, has to act older than they are. Would do anything to protect their friends and family.  A natural [if reluctant] leader.

BATTER – mid-teens. Has an innocent mind and a kind soul, but a bit dim. Fiercely loyal. Slightly younger than the others, lost their best friend in an accident and has been taken under their wing since.

KEZZY – mid-teens. Gobby. Not as brave or clever as they imagine, bit of a wimp, quick think the worse and overreact. Their scatterbrain gets them into trouble. Best mates with Scrum.

SCRUM – mid-teens. Smart, short-tempered, likes to look good [rarely seen without their prized snapback]. Sarcastic. Has a hidden bravery. Best mates with Kezzy.

CASSIE – late 60s. Eccentric and blunt pensioner – can’t see too well, walks with a stick – gifted with psychic powers. Will only drink milkshakes.

MULTI-ROLES x 3 – the play has a variety of other roles who help to build the world of the Lambton Estate and its inhabitants – including other kids, parents, schoolteachers, police officers, news-people, and others.

Timeframe and further information

The auditions will be workshop-style, will last two hours, and held on 21 April at the Customs House. There are two slots; 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and are strictly limited.

Interested actors would need to be available for all rehearsals, which will be Sunday 27 May- Friday 1 June (10am-5pm, TBC) at The Customs House, as well as for a read through on Thursday 24 May at 7.00pm at The Customs House for an invited audience as part of the WRITE Festival, and for the show on 16 June at Alphabetti Theatre.

This is an opportunity for emerging actors to gain experience of working with a professional director, and in performing a new piece of work. The total fee for each actor is £350.

All audition slots are now taken, to be added to the waiting list email Fiona Martin, Deputy Director- Learning and Participation: Fiona@customshouse.co.uk

This work is possible due to the generous support of our funders; South Tyneside Council, Arts Council England, W A Hanley Trust and Scottish Power Foundation.