Casting call: Mashi Theatre’s Tales of Birbal

Casting call: Mashi Theatre’s Tales of Birbal



Mashi Theatre is touring its production Tales of Birbal nationally in October/November 2017. We are seeking a female performer to cast for the production. The audition will be held on Tuesday 29th August. Deadline to register an interest to audition is Tuesday 22nd August, 12 noon.


We seek a female performer of South Asian origin to play the character of Mashi. The actor 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. Please see below for more information on the character.

Engagement details

  • Rehearsals (Leicester) from: Thursday 21st September – Saturday 7th October (2 weeks and 2 days)
  • Touring (across England, details below) from: Sunday 8th October – Sunday 5th November (4 weeks)
  • Fees are in line with those recommended by ITC

Audition details

  • Tuesday 29th August
  • We are hoping to audition in the Midlands, please indicate in your submission where you are based and if you are able to travel to the Midlands on this day (advance off-peak train travel will be covered)
  • You will be reading with the actor playing Bhanji who has already been cast
  • Time slots will be confirmed with shortlisted applicants – please state any preference as slots are likely to last 30-45 minutes
Those called to audition will be asked to prepare a children’s story – from ‘another culture’ – of no more than 2 minutes. (We would prefer this not to be a Birbal story).
  • 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 has been homeless for many years but manages to survive by her storytelling and the kindness of strangers. On her travels she met Bhanji, a 12 year old refugee orphan, 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.

Please note that we have not specified a playing age for Mashi, as we are keen to find someone who can convey the nature of the character and her relationship with Bhanji, and this could fall within a broad age bracket.


We are touring to community venues including schools and libraries; theatres and arts centres including Derby Theatre, Birmingham Hippodrome, and Cambridge Junction; and as part of the Big Imagination Festival in the North West.

The touring company will consist of the two actors and a Production/Stage Manager. Actors will be required to assist with get-ins and get-outs.

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.


To apply for this role, please email a headshot and CV to

Tilly Branson, Producer: tilly@tillybranson.com

07780 996 401

Please confirm your location and 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: Tuesday 22nd August 12 noon.

Hi, I’m Trina

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