Budding young male actors - and a kestrel - are needed by Holmfirth’s award-winning drama society, Turn Again Theatre, for its May production of the iconic story Kes.
While the leading role of Billy Casper has already been cast, the company is looking for 10 lads - aged between 13 and 19 - to be part of the production. And the search is also on for a live bird of prey to join the cast.
Lisa Kendall from Turn Again says they’d like to hear from any kestrel keepers willing to loan a bird for the performances from May 17 to 20 in Holmfirth Civic Hall. “It would be amazing if there was someone local who had a bird we could use, or even just someone with birds that we could have on display in the foyer,” she added.
A kestrel is central to the story of Kes, which was made into a 1970 film by Ken Loach and is based on the book A Kestrel for a Knave, written by the Barnsley-born author Barry Hines. It’s a strongly Yorkshire tale of a neglected and bullied boy from a poor mining community who finds comfort and solace in training a young kestrel. The play is primarily set in a school, which is why Turn Again needs a company of young actors.
Unfortunately, one of the problems faced by the company is that most of its teenage actors are facing important examinations in May.
As Lisa Kendall explains: “We do have lots of young people in our society but they are all around the GCSE age and are not able to be in our production. That’s why we’re putting out a call.”
Rehearsals for leading characters have already begun and it’s hoped that a full cast will be in place within a couple of weeks. “Initially, rehearsals will be once a week,” says Lisa, “but we will need to rehearse twice a week in April and May. There are lots of parts with dialogue still to cast so Turn Again Theatre is providing an ideal opportunity for teenage boys to come along and be a true character and true part of this iconic production.”
Luke Gosney, 13, is playing the lead in the highly-charged play, which is rarely performed by amateur companies. But, as Lisa says, Turn Again doesn’t shy away from the more demanding productions. In its 25 years it has staged everything from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to Stephen King’s Misery.
Anyone interested in joining the production - or supplying a kestrel - should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07951 446580.