Casting for touring pantomimes

West End in Schools requires musical theatre actors with West End experience (or equivalent) to join its well paid touring pantomime casts visiting primary schools.

This is the only panto where you can be home for Christmas and New Year - and get time off for auditions!

Having spent 6 years in a row unable to get home for Christmas because of performance schedules, I decided last year to do the West End In Schools pantomime, Aladdin. It meant I could still earn money but make it home for both Christmas and New Year.
I highly recommend this to anyone who, like me, wants the joy of not having to do a matinee on Boxing Day!
— Gary Wood

The shows

The shows are 1 hour, are given by one boy and one girl, and are performed in primary school halls on a traverse stage with simple but elegant set, props and costumes. We try really hard to make these shows a brilliant introduction to musical theatre for the children!

The creative team is:

Director: Ryan McBryde
Writers: Alex Silverman and Andrew Emerson
Designer: Mia Flodquist
Choreographer: Abi Rosser
Puppetry Directors: Steve Tiplady & Sally Todd
Staff Directors: Abi Finley & Tony Casement

Abi and Tony will be directing rehearsals as Ryan will be directing Cinderella for the Salisbury Playhouse. 

You can read what we tell schools about the shows on our school pantomimes web page - and do listen to the tracks on that page (sung by Simon Lipkin) which gives you an idea of the music. It's fab!

A day on the road

Each cast gives up to three performances per day, typically visiting one school in the morning for one or two performances and another in the afternoon.

We allow our cast members time off for auditions or other professional work (ie work through your agent) and as such we rehearse lots of extra people and share the work around.

We expect you to be flexible and helpful with covering last minute work when we are covering late notice auditions - which of course means extra paid days of work for you.

You will learn one of Aladdin, Cinderella or Jack and the Beanstalk and will perform opposite a range of other actors - we don't have fixed pairings. This makes performing fun and keeps things fresh.

Time commitment and pay

  • a 90 minute music call, usually the week before rehearsals
  • three days of rehearsal (Wednesday, Friday, Monday or Thursday, Saturday, Tuesday) in November.
  • a learning fee of £250 for the above providing that you are off book for their run, and have prepped for your music call, or £200 if we have to bring you back to either of the above
  • around seven to ten performance days at £100/day - perhaps more - mainly in December. Some shows are in November and January.
  • more work in the spring on other shows if it goes well for you and us. 

The scheduling doesn't tend to work well for people who have a lot of fixed engagements in their weeks.

The roles

Playing Aladdin, Widow Twankey

Playing Princess Jasmine, Abanazer, Genie of the Lamp

Playing Prince, Furry Dogfather, Ugly Sister

Playing Cinderella, Ugly Sister

Dame Trott, Billy, puppeteer Muriel the cow

Jack, Giant, puppeteer Muriel the cow

Who else does this?

Actors who have performed these pantomimes include: Abi Finley, Arvid Larsen, Belinda Wollaston, Catriana Sandison, Dylan Turner, Ellis Kerkhoven, Gary Wood, Greg Fossard, Harry Neale, Kara Lane, Katie Pritchard, Kevin Brewis, Kristofer Harding, Lucinda Shaw, Marc Antolin, Paul Shipp, Peter Manchester, Sarah Harlington, Sharon Sexton, Simon Lipkin, Stephanie Lane.

The West End in Schools office team is Nigel Godfrey, Roxane Kamberos and Sarah Dullaghan. Before working in schools the company (as Blue Box Entertainment Ltd) previously general managed Jerry Springer - The Opera (in Edinburgh, at the National and in the West End), Bat Boy the Musical (at West Yorkshire Playhouse, and in the West End), Eurobeat (in Edinburgh, on tour and West End), Round the Horne, the National Theatre production of Noises Off, and a touring production of Return to the Forbidden Planet.

How to apply

  • You must be able to drive - we use hire cars!
  • You must either have a CRB/DBS check or have a clear criminal record (including no cautions for violent behaviour) and be happy to be CRB checked.
  • You must be available from Monday 30 November to Friday 18 December and on the rehearsal dates in November. Different teams rehearse in different weeks so there is some flexibility in November.

To apply fill out our quick application form on this link. You can do this from a computer or a phone.