The Jersey Amateur Dramatic Club (JADC) is on the lookout for 40 talents aged nine to 18 for its first ever production solely for young performers, a rendition of Alan Parker's 'Bugsy Malone,' to be performed this autumn at the Arts Centre.
Budding talent have until Monday to register for the auditions which will take place between 12:00 and 17:00 on 21 April at the JADC's headquarters, the Barn on Rue du Trot in St. Saviour.
A slapstick musical comedy written by Alan Parker, Bugsy Malone, follows the rivalry between two half-witted street gangs in 1920’s New York. On one side Dandy Dan’s mob terrorizes the district, taking out enemies with their latest weapon, whipped cream splurge guns. On the other side Dandy Dan’s arch rival, Fat Sam, runs the successful 'Grand Slam Speakeasy' but still fights with old fashioned custard pies. And then there is Bugsy Malone, a smooth talking ex-boxer who is simultaneously trying to woo glamorous Blousy and end the splurge war.
Dancers and actors are all welcome to audition for the 40 roles, including children who are not currently enrolled in performing classes. Information about the auditions has been sent to all primary and secondary schools in the island in the hope to field talents.
Rhona Richards, who will be directing 'Bugsy Malone,' explained: "I want to encourage as many children as possible to experience live performance on a professional stage. I hope to attract, not only those who already attend fee-paying dance and drama schools, but also those for whom such classes are prohibitively expensive. Bugsy Malone features over 80 characters and it’s a production that allows students of all abilities to make the most of their individual strengths and talents.
"It is a musical so it is an advantage if you can sing and dance, but it is a character-led musical. This means that all performers might not need to be the best singers as they will be singing in character. It's completely mixed in terms of abilities."
The production of 'Bugsy Malone' marks the first time the JADC is putting on a production solely for young performers. The club hopes that such a production will give young people the opportunity to perform on a professional stage, something they might then take up as a hobby or turn into a career. Ms Richard said: "There are many talented young performers in Jersey, they are the future of performance in Jersey. We want to help start them on the performing path.
"We recently had three members of the JADC direct and perform in a production called 'Taking the Spotlight.' It is just about giving young performer the exposure on stage."
Video: Fat Sam's Grand Slam, one of the many songs in 'Bugsy Malone.'
But the JADC's aim to get young talent into professional productions will also go beyond on stage roles. Once the cast has been chosen, Ms Richards will start looking for young people to shadow the production team, including Musical Director Anna Cavey, choreographers Vicky Philips and Agnetta Nerac and producer Samantha Gleave. Ms Richards said: "We want to have a group of young people trained on an off-stage. It is about passing on our experience and helping young people have professional experience. They may find that they want to pursue it professionally like past members have or continue it as a hobby afterwards but it is important they have this experience."
If chosen to be part of the cast, the performers will have to be ready for an "intensive rehearsal schedule." Ms Richards explained: "It is a big commitment. There are 40 performers and a lot to organise. Bugsy Malone is very much an ensemble piece, so even if the performers are not main characters they are just as important as they will be on stage most of the time. It will be an intensive rehearsal schedule but there will be lots of fun as well."
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