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Local people invited to audition for The Commotion Time

Three actors sat on chairs in a row smile towards the camera. Two have scripts resting on their laps. The other is lifting her script in front of her, with bright pink highlights.

We’ve issued an open call-out for voluntary local performers to form a community ensemble for the world premiere of Sarah Dickenson’s play The Commotion Time. Directed by our new Creative Director Martin Berry, the sweeping historical drama will run from 18 – 23 October this year.

The Commotion Time artwork: A young woman wearing historical clothing (white shirt under a yellow dress) is seen from neck to waist. In her outstretched hands she holds a miniature Gildhouse, set atop a mound of grassy earth. The earth falls through her fingers. Text reads: 'The Commotion Time', 'The Western Rising and Siege of Exeter: It Takes a Village to raise an Army', 'Made by Exeter Northcott Theatre', 'By Sarah Dickenson, Directed by Martin Berry, Created in Association with Poundstock Gildhouse'.

About The Commotion Time

It’s February 1547, soon after the death of Henry VIII. On the Cornwall/Devon border, the people of Poundstock are looking forward to completing their biggest ever community project: the Gildhouse, a state-of-the-art building for brewing, fundraising and feasting. But there are dangerous clouds on the horizon as the authorities in Exeter force through an array of reforms set to drive division into the heart of the community.

As bellies empty, society fractures and the Gildhouse’s key is taken away, the people take action in the only way left to them; marching to Exeter in their thousands to challenge the King and force the authorities to listen.

Depicting an incredible moment in Exeter’s history, The Commotion Time gives voice to the ordinary people at the centre of a story that still shapes the city and its local communities today. It is a true tale of insurrection, love, desperation and murder, told with passion, humour and live music.

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About the Open Call-Out

This important local story will be told by a large ensemble of local actors, accompanied by a choir of local singers, alongside seven professional performers. The hunt is now on for the volunteers who will help to bring this landmark production to the stage.

The open auditions will be held in June. Whilst all levels of experience are welcome, auditioning performers must be aged 18 or over on Mon 1 Jul.

The auditions will be for the non-singing community ensemble and for the community choir. Those who have an interest in being part of the choir will also be offered the chance to sing at the same audition. Rehearsals will then take place Thursday evenings and some Mondays between July and October, plus occasional Saturdays.

Anyone who would like to audition can sign up by Mon 3 June.

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Antigone Rehearsals - David Annen as Kreon on a small platform on stage, wearing a modern toga style costume and combat boots, being directed by Associate Director Yusuf Niazi
Photo by Mark Tipping

Alongside the community cast, each of the professional actors taking part will have links to the South West, and the entire creative team is based in the region.  The Commotion Time will be created and performed for by people who are firmly rooted in South West England.

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