The Lyric Hammersmith is talent scouting adults from West London to perform in a community production in August. No previous acting experience is needed and there will be a mix of speaking and non-speaking roles.
Heart of Hammersmith, the Lyric’s first large-scale community play in its 125-year history, will be performed in the main house, bringing together a cast of over 40 West Londoners. They’ve already recruited 17 young members, aged 18-25, made up of first time actors, a secondary school teacher, a drag artist, a call centre worker, students, new graduates and community volunteers and now they are looking for over 25 year olds.
Nicholai La Barrie, Writer and Creator of Heart of Hammersmith
Written and created by Nicholai La Barrie (Tina – The Tina Turner Musical Resident Director) with The Lyric Community Company, and directed by Eva Sampson (Decades), the creative team includes Chiswick’s own Ella McCallum, producer of the Starts and Grafts podcast which aims to demystify the arts industries and champion new talent.
Ella said, “Whether you’re 25 or 95, we’re looking for adults who are passionate about and want to celebrate West London to come and audition for Heart of Hammersmith.”
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been onstage or acted before, there are speaking and non-speaking roles to suit everyone and you will not regret it.”
“It has been an absolute joy being involved in the creation of this play, meeting with other young people from my local area to celebrate everything we love about our home. We’re so excited to have some new people from other generations on board – I can’t recommend it enough.”
Heart of Hammersmith tells stories of the people, places, sights and sounds of Hammersmith past and present. It celebrates West London through all of its hardships and triumphs and the vibrant individuals who make it what it is. Inspired by true stories from West London, the play tracks immigrant arrivals, million-pound homes and social housing sitting side by side; the rise of gentrification and the shadows left by the Grenfell tragedy, the changing of attitudes, facing of tragedies and the rallying of a resilient community.
Still a bit unsure? Read some of the positive things these local young people have to say about taking part.
Kitty Cockram, who lives in Brentford said, “West London has built me into the person I am today. I feel very grateful for the opportunity to live here and feel Heart of Hammersmith is a great way to express that. The chance to devise, write and perform with other young adults in West London on the Lyric Main stage, what an experience! It has really spiced up Lockdown 3.0.” Kitty has previously worked with Questors Theatre in Ealing and graduated from the East 15 BA acting course in 2019, she is also involved with Brentford Penguins Downs Syndrome Football Club.
Harry Drane, a drag artist from Wandsworth said: “The chance to showcase how vital art is and bring a community together, especially during the pandemic, is extremely rewarding. The Lyric is creating the highest quality contemporary theatre while nurturing young people, it’s the perfect place to support my goal to provide more queer space and stories in theatre.”
Tom Claxton, a recent LAMDA graduate now based in Ealing said, “This is a great chance to tell the stories of local people and widen accessibility to the arts, People might think that they don’t belong in the theatre but we want to change preconceptions about what it can be.”
The Lyric is now casting adult roles. You have to be aged 25+, live in West London and care about the community. Applications must be in by 10am on Monday 24 May here: lyric.co.uk/young-lyric/next-generation/heart-of-hammersmith-adult-chorus-call-out/
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Lyric theatre’s ‘Letters from lockdown’
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