Casting for Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre‘s production debut of Z is for Zombie, combined with Gemma Parkyn’s The Lodge in the Woods, took place on Thursday 9th January, 2013. The standards were impressive and both Gemma and I had the difficult task of picking / negotiating who to place where.
Actually, I’ll be honest, the choice wasn’t as difficult as anticipated. In fact, it took us about five minutes to decide between us. This is perhaps largely down to the fact that our requirements, I believe, were clearly defined and complimentary to each other. Gemma, by example, was looking for two couples to lead her play, the couples needed to match physically and show some level of chemistry straight off the bat. It was essential that Gemma had four confident experienced people capable of working off each other for those roles, which is ultimately what was achieved. This was also helped by encouraged honesty shown by members who expressed a clear desire, in some cases, regarding play preference which, believe me, was gratefully received.
For my show, I was able to stretch the selection filter further and take a more experimental approach. I was determined to place some wildcards in the pack, I mean, a group of misfits thrown together means anything goes by way of casting. This unfiltered approach also sat well with my philosophy to give, dare I say, untested actors a platform to showcase their potential. I hold this ideal when casting for The Fringe Files and I adopted the same philosophy here. I think what I have is a good blend of experience and raw talent. I actually believe it’s the perfect casting mix for this particular play.
I am delighted to announce the cast for the first ever production of Z is for Zombie as follows:-
Keith Hughes (as Arnold), Jonathan Carlton (as Coben), Mickey Berry (as Donovan), Jaime Hodgson (as Emery), Ellie Bradshaw (as Eva), Sian Oxley (as Juliette), Christin Pruestel (as Victoria), Jade Kettle (as Walking Dead), Neil Hutchinson (as Walking Dead)
Keith Hughes is an experienced versatile actor with an impressive performing background, stretching across TV, theatre and even the Olympic opening ceremony. He is also an award winning actor on the festival circuit. His festival experience in particular will be of huge benefit to us. Jonathon Carlton is a star in the making, with various high level theatre productions already behind him, I’ve seen Jon perform comedy previously and now we’ll get to enjoy a whole different side to him as he portrays the struggling despairing Coben. This is Mickey Berry’s first theatre adventure, and his pure raw grunge vibe mixed with passion, enthusiasm and impressive audition coating made him an absolute for the role of Donovan. Mickey is lead vocalist for the band The Julia Set. One to watch out for I believe! Jaime Hodgson has been a key part of the Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre youth academy for some time. Jaime showed excellent potential with her fearless audition. Jaime is the latest academy star to take the step up from the companies hugely successful youth programme. Ellie Bradshaw gave a controlled natural audition, immediately flagging her for the role of calming field medic Eva. Sian Oxley has grown over the years into quite the brilliant comedy actress, her audition was oozing with potential. Superb! She’ll surprise a few people I think. Christin Pruestel is, like Mickey, new to theatre, but her enthusiasm, determination and drive really stood out. She also gave a calm relaxed competent audition. Jade Kettle and Neil Hutchinson are the perfect double act for the Walking Dead pairing. We’re very lucky to have these guys on board.
So congratulations to everybody who were cast in both one act plays. Now we begin the rehearsal sessions from Monday and I will continue to blog during the process throughout the Spring so please do bookmark this page. Thank you. Here are some related links. Colnbrook Amateur Stage Theatre are the company behind these productions. You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Gemma Parkyn is currently running a production blog for The Lodge in the Woods here.