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Chance for local performers to star in Royal Shakespeare Company production in Norwich

11:48 14 January 2015

The Royal Shakespeare Company

The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2011 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Pictured are Pippa Nixon (Titania) and Marc Wootton (Bottom) in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Photo by Ellie Kurttz. The RSC are set to present a new production of the Shakespearean comedy in 2016 and are looking for a local theatre group to perform alongside the professional cast at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Ellie Kurttz

Local performers are to be given the chance to perform alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company in a very special production coming to Norwich.

The RSC’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is coming to Norwich Theatre Royal in April 2016 - and the company is now looking for a local amateur theatre group to star in the show when it visits the city.

Auditions will take place in May this year and the successful group will play the characters of Bottom and the Rude Mechanicals, the six amateur actors in the Shakespearean comedy about love and enchantment.

The show is being created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016.

Ian Wainwright, producer for the RSC, said: “The Mechanicals are Shakespeare’s own take on amateur theatre, and include some of his best loved characters such as Bottom and Peter Quince.

“It’s a great opportunity for an amateur company, as the team chosen will receive training from the RSC as well as rehearse and perform with the RSC’s own professional cast. The amateur team will also get the opportunity to travel to Stratford-upon-Avon to perform on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in summer 2016.

“We want to show that Shakespeare really is the people’s playwright and his words belong to everyone as performers as well as audiences.”

The production - which will visit 13 venues across the UK - will be directed by Erica Whyman, deputy artistic director of the RSC.

She said: “There’s some fantastic and unexpected talent out there in the amateur theatre world. It is a real treat to be able to bring the professional and amateur worlds together in this extraordinary tour.”

Previous experience of performing Shakespeare is not necessary but enthusiasm is essential, and all the members of the amateur groups auditioning must be over 18.

There is space for up to 20 local amateur theatre groups to be involved in the audition and workshop weekend run by the RSC in May 2015 in Norwich.

For more information about the auditions, workshops and the level of commitment needed to be part of the production, contact Jane Walsh at Norwich Theatre Royal at j.walsh@theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or by calling 01603 598514.

• The Royal Shakespeare Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be at Norwich Theatre Royal from April 25 to 30 2016. Tickets to see the production will go on sale at a date to be confirmed.

• Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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