Derby Theatre to audition for extras in Kes

kesARTSBEAT THEATRE: Derby Theatre will be holding auditions on Sunday June 16 for local young people (aged between 11 and 17 years of age) to appear in their big professional production of Kes this autumn.

Kes will be Derby Theatre’s second professional produced show, following on from the first, the hugely successful Cooking with Elvis, and will be directed by Artistic Director, Sarah Brigham.

Director, Sarah Brigham and head of learning at Derby Theatre, Caroline Barth, are looking for two teams of approximately 15 – 20 young people to play Billy’s classmates who can: work well together in an ensemble company, hold a character and who have plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

The auditions will be in workshop format and young people will work in groups. No one will be asked to perform an individual piece.

These roles are unpaid, and mostly non-speaking, but are key to the production. There will be two audition workshops on June 16 – the first from 11am until 12pm – and the second from 12.30pm until 1.30pm.

There will be a maximum of 25 places on each workshop and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis from the time we receive your completed form.

If you are interested in applying for an audition slot please email Matt Clay (for an application form) at:

The main rehearsals will run from Monday August 19 and the production opens on September 13 and runs until October 5. There will also be nine day time performances during the run (these will be split between the two teams). You will be given more details about the rehearsal schedule if you are successful.

Caroline Barth said: “We are looking for creative young people from a wide range of backgrounds who have energy and focus. We would like to work with people aged 11 – 17 years old who love working in team, learning new skills and are able to commit to the rehearsal process and the run of this professional production.

This will be an amazing opportunity to work with professional performers and directors and learn about how a producing theatre works.”

Set against a northern backdrop, Kes is a well-known and much-loved book and film. A coming-of-age, classic told with humour and warmth which continues to speak, and be relevant to, audiences of all ages through its powerful story of struggle in a tough world.

It’s 1960s Britain and daring to hope can be a dangerous thing. But ‘our Billy’ is brave enough to break free from the hardship, coal dust and the bullying he endures from his family and teachers. Adamant on embarking on a journey towards a brighter future, Billy realises his ambition of hope and freedom through his kestrel, Kes.

Billy and Kes, through a shared aspiration to reach new horizons, form a unique bond through training, love and hope. But injustice and heartbreak impact on their journeys too, as Billy tragically discovers.

Sarah Brigham said: “I’m delighted to be bringing this classic tale to the audiences of Derby. It’s a story of one boy’s hope and ambition against an incredibly tough landscape and I think it chimes very much with our times at the moment.

“It’s a great story with great drama within it and I hope our audiences will enjoy our second professional produced show.

“For many Kes is a story fondly remembered with nostalgia of a time studying the play at school and we look forward to presenting our exciting, yet faithful, version, from Lawrence Till’s adaptation, to new and existing audiences this autumn.”

Tickets cost £10.50 – £25.50. Family tickets and school rates also available. For more information and to book tickets call the box office on 01332 59 39 39 or online at