Casting for touring pantomimes

West End in Schools is casting musical theatre actors with West End experience (or equivalent) to join its well paid touring pantomime casts visiting primary schools.

This is the only panto where you can be home for Christmas and New Year (and in between!) - and get time off for auditions!

Having spent 6 years in a row unable to get home for Christmas because of performance schedules, I decided to do the West End In Schools pantomime, Aladdin. It meant I could still earn money but make it home for both Christmas and New Year.
I highly recommend this to anyone who, like me, wants the joy of not having to do a matinee on Boxing Day!
— Gary Wood - A Chorus Line, Wicked, Our Country's Good (National Theatre)
School pantomimes

Who else does this, and why?

We believe that every child's imagination should be inspired by the arts; they deserve an experience every bit as powerful as they would have if they went to a professional theatre. 

There are over 100 actors who have performed these pantomimes including: Abi Finley, Alice Stokoe, Anthony Ray, Arvid Larsen, Beth Linsdell, Catriana Sandison, Dylan Turner, Elana Martin, Ellis Kerkhoven, Emma Odell, Gary Wood, Gillian Ford, Haley Flaherty, Helen Colby, Jonny Godbold, Kara Lane, Kevin Brewis, Llandyll Gove, Lucinda Shaw, Marc Antolin, Matt Quinn, Sarah Harlington, Sharon Sexton, Sheridan Lloyd, Simon Lipkin, Simon Willmont and Simon Shorten.

The West End in Schools office team is Nigel Godfrey, Roxane Kamberos and Rachel Bellman. Before working in schools the company (as Blue Box Entertainment Ltd) previously general managed Jerry Springer - The Opera (in Edinburgh, at the National and in the West End), Bat Boy the Musical (at West Yorkshire Playhouse, and in the West End), Eurobeat (in Edinburgh, on tour and West End), Round the Horne, the National Theatre production of Noises Off, and a touring production of Return to the Forbidden Planet.

The shows

The shows are 1 hour, are given by one boy and one girl, and are performed in primary school halls on a traverse stage with simple but elegant set, props and costumes. We try really hard to make these shows a brilliant introduction to musical theatre for the children! Andrew Emerson (our writer) is a noted writer of children's TV programmes including Rastamouse and Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed. Alex Silverman (our composer) has co-written 3 musicals, composed for 11 productions at Shakespeare's Globe and written for plays at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Court, Young Vic etc.

The creative team is:

Director: Ryan McBryde (Aladdin, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Scroogical!) and Abi Rosser (Beauty and the Beast)
Writers: Alex Silverman and Andrew Emerson
Choreographer: Abi Rosser
Designers: Mia Flodquist (Aladdin, Cinderella and Jack and the Beanstalk) and Phil Eddolls (Scroogical! and Beauty and the Beast)
Puppetry Directors for Jack and the Beanstalk: Steve Tiplady & Sally Todd
Staff Directors: Abi Finley, Abi Rosser and Christian Durham

You can read what we tell schools about the shows on our school pantomimes web page - and do listen to the tracks on that page (sung by Simon Lipkin, Sarah Galbraith and Jess Robinson) which gives you an idea of the music. It's fab!

A day on the road

Each cast gives up to three performances per day, typically visiting one school in the morning for one or two performances and another in the afternoon.

We allow our cast members time off for auditions or other professional work (ie work through your agent) and as such we rehearse lots of extra people and share the work around.

We expect you to be flexible and helpful with covering last minute work when we are covering late notice auditions - which of course means extra paid days of work for you.

You will learn one of Aladdin, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Scroogical! or Beauty and the Beast and will perform opposite a range of other actors - we don't have fixed pairings. This makes performing fun and keeps things fresh!

Time commitment and pay

  • a 90 minute music call, usually the week before rehearsals
  • for Aladdin, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Beauty and the Beast: 
    • three days of rehearsal (e.g. Wednesday, Friday, Monday or Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday) in November. 
    • a learning fee of £250 for the above providing that you are off book for their run, and have prepped for your music call, or £200 if we have to bring you back to either of the above
  • for Scroogical: 
    • four days of rehearsal in November. 
    • a learning fee of £350 for the above providing that you are off book for their run, and have prepped for your music call, or £300 if we have to bring you back to either of the above
  • around seven to ten performance days at £100/day - perhaps more - mainly in December. Some shows are in November and January.
  • more work in the spring on other shows or workshops if it goes well for you and us. 

The scheduling doesn't tend to work well for people who have a lot of fixed engagements in their weeks, and you will need a base in London.

The roles

ALADDIN BOY
Playing Aladdin, Widow Twankey

ALADDIN GIRL
Playing Princess Jasmine, Abanazer, Genie of the Lamp

CINDERELLA BOY
Playing Prince, Furry Dogfather, Ugly Sister

CINDERELLA GIRL
Playing Cinderella, Ugly Sister

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK BOY
Dame Trott, Billy, puppeteer Muriel the cow

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK GIRL
Jack, Giant, puppeteer Muriel the cow

SCROOGICAL BOY
Alfie the Christmas Spirit boss, Scrooge and Mrs Cratchit

SCROOGICAL GIRL
Chrissie the Trainee Christmas Spirit, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Fenella Fezzywig, the three Christmas Spirits and other incidental characters

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST BOY
The Beast, Marcel and Beauty's Father

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST GIRL
Beauty

How to apply

  • You must be able to drive and be 22 or older - we use hire cars!
  • You must either have a CRB/DBS check or have a clear criminal record (including no cautions for violent behaviour) and be happy to be CRB checked.
  • You must be available from Monday 27 November to Friday 22 December and on the rehearsal dates in November. Different teams rehearse in different weeks so there is some flexibility in November.

To apply fill out our quick application form on this link. You can do this from a computer or a phone.