Local amateur performers sought for professional production

Local amateur performers sought for professional production

Community chorus members in The Hired Man (2004)

Theatre by the Lake is seeking local amateur performers of all ages for its Spring 2013 production – a new adaptation of Lakeland novelist Hugh Walpole’s Rogue Herries. Alongside the 8-strong professional cast of actor-musicians, the show will feature a ‘community chorus’ of up to 30 local performers. Everyone aged 8 and over is invited to audition, regardless of their skills or previous experience.

Set in the mid-18th Century, Rogue Herries tells the story of larger-than-life Francis Herries. He uproots his family from Yorkshire and brings them to live in Borrowdale, where their life is as dramatic as the surrounding landscape. Proud, violent and impetuous, Herries despises his first wife and earns the nickname ‘Rogue’ when he sells his mistress at a county fair.

Playwright Louise Page, who has adapted Rogue Herries for the stage, said: “This story is as much about the community as it is about Rogue and his family. The book has some fantastic set pieces, such as the country fair; the chorus will be vital in making these scenes come alive. I’ve written the chorus members as individual people; they’re not just ‘Man 1’ or ‘Woman 4,’ they have names and backstories.”

This will be the fourth Theatre by the Lake production to feature a community chorus, following The Hired Man, The Maid of Buttermere and A View From the Bridge. Commenting, Rogue Herries Co-Director Stefan Escreet said: “In the past we’ve had a really positive response from community chorus members, who have told us they’ve got a lot out of being part of the shows. We’ve been blown away by the level of enthusiasm and commitment, so we’re really excited to work with local performers again.”

Auditions for the community chorus will be held in December at Theatre by the Lake, and will involve groups of 15-20 people working with the Directors of the show on group improvisations. No preparation is required. Rehearsals for the community chorus will start at the end of January 2013, and initially will only take place at weekends. Rogue Herries runs from Sat 23 March to Sat 20 April.

Anyone wanting to audition should contact Amy Ferguson on amy.ferguson@theatrebythelake.com or 017687 72282 to book a place at one of the audition sessions. Please also contact Amy if you would like more details about the rehearsal and performance schedule.