Originally published in The Stage, September 2016
Open auditions have long been the preserve of big West End musicals. Long before reality television started broadcasting the casting -process, emerging, unrepresented -performers were still getting the chance to audition for big -productions and international tours by responding to adverts in The Stage, turning up early and -joining the queue.
Recent open auditions for the West End revival of 42nd Street reportedly attracted more than 2,000 dancers for the 36 ensemble roles. The new Stiles and Drew musical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows, which starts its tour in October before coming into the West End in 2017, also held open auditions around the country. In the end, Holly Wilcock, a young actor the team met in Salford, was cast in the role of Portia. The Wind in the Willows will be Wilcock’s professional debut, and what a great first job to be given.