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I am writing to invite student actors across the Midlands3Cities to audition for an exciting and innovative theatre project taking place at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe. 


Free for All is a new verse play by Richard O’Brien, a Midlands3Cities-funded PhD researcher at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute. Richard has written the script as part of his practice-led research, and the production is being brought to the Fringe by Haunted House Theatre and professional director Rebecca Martin. The show will run from the 17th to 31st August at The Spaces @ Surgeon’s Hall - anyone auditioning will need to commit to these dates, to at least one regular weekly rehearsal slot between May and August, becoming more intensive as we move closer to production, and to a few regional preview shows at sites in the consortium.


This production will allow actors the chance to develop their skills in an under-explored area of theatre practice, combining techniques of verse speaking they may have learned when working on Shakespeare and other classical drama with the language of a contemporary script. They will experiment with the boundaries between naturalism and other forms of theatre, and make valuable contributions to an ongoing project researching the role of verse drama (the most prominent form of theatre for over 1500 years) in today’s theatrical landscape, and hopefully have a lot of fun in the process.


We will be raising money for the show from a variety of channels, including Kickstarter, which if successful will enable us to subsidise performers’ accommodation and travel. 


Audition slots are available between 6 and 10pm on Monday 30th and Tuesday 31st March in the Hall of the Shakespeare Institute (Mason Croft, Church Street, Stratford-upon-Avon), where most rehearsals will also be held. Please email or for more information and to book a slot, or to express an interest if these times do not work for you - we may be able to add other dates.


Best wishes,

Richard and Bec

Haunted House Theatre


Richard O'Brien

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