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Paul – Site Specific Piece/Audition Room

The following two weeks were very busy weeks for my placement. First off Box of Tricks was performing an installation piece, in Salford Lads Club, situated near the original Coronation Street. The piece was about true events that had happened to people that used to attend the club, as a local historian and freelance writer collaborated into writing the piece, whilst Box of Tricks set about directing four actors and moulding the piece together in a couple of days; ready to be performed to the punters that would come along. The piece was constructed as a guided tour, but instead of the usual tour about ‘The Smiths’, who famously gigged at Salford Lads Club, the tour guide had called in sick and a tour guide was set in their place, who decided to give the tour a little more history rather than knowledge of the popular UK band.

A large group attended the tour making it a success, it was a very interesting process to be a part of, from seeing who Box of Tricks collaborated with, how Adam directed and worked with the writer to construct the piece with four actors in a couple of days, and also gaining knowledge of the Salford Lads Club itself, which struck me as a complete hidden gem.

Box of Tricks were now auditioning for their latest play ‘Narvik’ and so the following Monday I was invited to come down to the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, where I was a part of their Youth Theatre before I move to Salford, to see how the audition process worked. The panel consisted of Hannah Tyrrell-Pinder (Co-founder of Box of Tricks), who was directing the play, the writer Lizzie Nunnery (Narvik), and Peter Hunt (Peter Hunt Casting) who was the casting director for the auditions. This was a very useful but also enjoyable process, as I picked up hints and tips for the future, being an actor myself, and also watching people sing and give life to the script, which was a pleasure to watch. What struck me the most about the auditions were that certain factors such as personality do play a part, but also age and the right look, and that can even be effected by the actor that they’re looking to pair them up with, so sometimes decisions aren’t just based on who gave the best performance, but who would give the right fit to the piece. What I liked about this experience was that even though I’m on a placement and new to Box of Tricks, I was allowed to engage in the conversations in between auditions and I felt a part of the whole process which I really appreciated. I was also allowed to see how a professional Casting Director like Peter Hunt operates as well, who I have met previously via ‘ActupNorth’. I would fully recommend to any future Foot In The Door hopefuls, that if you are offered the chance to go and watch auditions from the other side to take that opportunity with both hands and make sure you attend, as you probably won’t get another opportunity like it.