Centrefold: Let's Twist again: Wanted: small, very cheeky boys who consider themselves at home on stage
Wednesday 17 August 1994
There won't be any terrifying solo speeches in the spotlight to the cruel cry of 'Next]'. Hopefuls will be encouraged to move in groups: 'They'll be warmed up in some dance steps by the choreographer Matthew Bourne,' says Mendes.' Then he'll gradually include increasingly complicated steps - their speed of response will sort the boys from the boys. We'll get them to sing songs and play a few games, and gradually we'll isolate the ones who are best.'
Mendes finds it easier to audition children than adults. 'You would be staggered at how much chutzpah they have: once they lose themselves it's amazing what they come up with.' And although he has no preconceptions about what he's looking for, he says he'll know it when he sees it: 'Casting is an instinctive process. . .It needs to be somebody you can't take your eyes off.'
Open auditions for the part of the Artful Dodger in 'Oliver]' take place at Hackney Empire, Mare St, E8 tomorrow, from 10am onwards
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