Casting call: Mashi Theatre’s Tales of Birbal

Introduction
Mashi Theatre is touring it’s production Tales of Birbal nationally in May/June 2017. We are seeking two female performers to cast for the production. The audition will be held on Tuesday 14th March. Deadline to register an interest to audition is Friday 10th March 10am. (details below).

Casting
– We seek two female performers to play the main characters, Mashi and Bhanji
– Both performers need to be of South Asian origin.
– The Mashi character is in her 30s and the Bhanji character is 12. However, performers with older playing ages will be considered and we will cast to ensure the actors compliment each other with respect their age.
– Both actors will need to manipulate basic puppets. Previous puppetry experience is desirable, but not essential, as a puppetry director will guide this process.
– Basic knowledge of a South Asian language would be an advantage

Engagement details
– Rehearsals (Leicester) from: Thursday 27th April (3 weeks)
– Touring (across England, details below) from: Thursday 18th May (5 weeks)
– Fees are in line with those recommended by ITC
– We also intend to tour the show in October 2017. Should this go ahead it will be offered and contracted as a separate engagement

Audition details
– Tuesday 14th March
– Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, London SE1 2HZ
– The audition will be in the style of a facilitated workshop, which will take place all day. The exact time will be agreed with shortlisted applicants.
– Those called to audition will be asked to prepare a children’s story – from a culture different to their own – of no more than 2 minutes
– There will be work on the day which requires sight-reading, please indicate if you have any requirements in this regard.

About Tales of Birbal
Mashi Theatre, in association with The Spark Arts for Children and supported by Z-arts, presents
Tales of Birbal
by Sayan Kent
from an original concept by Trina Haldar

The ‘Tales of Birbal’ stories have been treasured for centuries by generations across the Indian sub-continent. Mashi Theatre’s production invites a new generation to unearth the richness in these legends.

Birbal was a poet and author, but was more widely esteemed for his wit and wisdom in solving problems. Known as one of the Navaratnas or nine jewels of the Mogul Emperor Akbar, many would travel from far and wide to present Birbal with a challenge, to which he would always have an intelligent and amusing response. No one enjoyed this clever banter more than the Emperor himself, who often wore a disguise in order to test the loyalty of his subjects.

Akin to Aesop’s fables, the stories are reawakened for a new audience of families and children age 6+ years. Tales of Birbal is a colourful, inventive, humorous piece, featuring music and puppetry. It will appeal to families, but will be equally attractive to schools as a unique cultural learning resource.

Further information on the characters
Mashi and Bhanji, who are poor and live from hand to mouth on their journey. Mashi and Bhanji take it in turns to play Akbar, Birbal and all the other characters.

Mashi: A woman in her 30s. She has been homeless for many years but manages to survive by her storytelling and the kindness of strangers. On her travels she met Bhanji, who followed her. She has grown very fond of Bhanji, who is the child Mashi may never have, though would never let on in case Bhanji took advantage of her emotions.

Bhanji: 12 years old, a refugee orphan who adopted Mashi when she came through the town telling stories. She thinks of Mashi as a mother as well as an aunt. She hopes that Mashi loves her, though she sometimes worries when they don’t have enough food that Mashi will leave her behind somewhere. She is a typical 12 year old and gets into some mischief. She also winds Mashi up sometimes. She does a lot of the heavy work for Mashi to earn her keep.

Touring venues:
We are playing for two or more days in the majority of places we are touring to, which include:
– Brighton Festival
– Alchemy Festival, Southbank
– the egg, Theatre Royal Bath
– The Hat Factory, Luton
– JuneFest, Bedford
– The Spark, Leicester
– Warwick Arts Centre
– Watermans Arts Centre

About Mashi Theatre
Mashi Theatre shares stories for the child in all of us. ‘Mashi’ being the keeper of stories, teller of tales, a playmaker and confidante. In the Asian culture a ‘Mashi’ is comparable to the western ‘aunt’, not necessarily a blood relative but someone who assumes the role. Mashi Theatre’s vision is to reawaken stories seeped in culture and hand them down to a new generation.

Website: www.mashi-theatre.co.uk

Contact
To apply for either role, please email a headshot and CV to
Thomas Wildish, Producer: thomas@thomaswildish.co.uk
07833 380453

Please indicate which role you are interested in, and also confirm your availability for the audition and the engagement dates. Applicants selected for audition will be contacted shortly after the closing date.

Deadline to submit headshots and CV: Friday 10th March 10am

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