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St Mary's Hall Pupils Take Centre Stage in National TV Auditions

It was lights, camera, action at St Mary’s Hall today as 26 budding actors took to the stage to audition for a part in the upcoming TV dramatisation of the novel, Lord of the Flies.

 

London casting Director, Nina Gold Casting, who have been responsible for television successes including Star Wars, Paddington, Game of Thrones, and The Crown turned to Stonyhurst in their national quest to find an actor for various parts of the production. If successful, one of the boys would clinch a six-month acting contract and relocate to Australia to be on set from April next year.

The excited youngsters took to the stage in the Centenaries Theatre to impress the judges with their five-minute performance of ‘Ralph’ - the main character in the novel which tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island.

Following the audition, the performers then gave the judging panel a handwritten biography of themselves, accompanied with a head and shoulders photograph, so they would be remembered when the casting agents went back to London for their deliberations.

The Lord of the Flies novel, written by William Golding, tells the story of a group of schoolboys stranded on a deserted island. At first, the boys enjoy the freedom of no adult supervision and far from civilisation, they can do anything they want. However, their attempts to forge their own society fail and as order collapses, terror begins to reign and the hope of being rescued begins to fade. The novel is referred to as ‘the end of innocence and the darkness of a man’s heart’ and shows how evil and cruelty lurks within the heart of every individual.

Commenting on the auditions, Kate Hodkinson, Head of Drama at Stonyhurst St Mary’s Hall, said: “As one of the few schools in the northwest, we are thrilled to be on the radar for national agents like Nina Gold Casting, which is testament to our drama and performing art excellence. We have a hugely talented pool of actors and actresses who receive weekly Drama lessons as part of the national curriculum together with individual LAMDA and Musical Theatre lessons for pupils who want to hone their talents further.”

She continued: “All our pupils are encouraged to take part in the bi-annual drama productions within their year group, whether this is on the stage in a leading role, a chorus member or backstage in hair and makeup or the technical team. Our recent productions of Frozen, School of Rock, Matilda, Aladdin demonstrate our pupils will take on big shows and involve themselves as much or as little as they like. We have everything crossed that one of our pupils is lucky enough to secure a role this time.”

Stonyhurst is the UK’s leading Catholic co-educational boarding and day school for pupils aged 3-18 and one of the oldest continuously active Jesuit schools in the world. A Jesuit education is not only the formation of the whole person inside the classroom, but more broadly through experiences that help young people to form characters and identify their purpose in life.

The Performing Arts is one of the four key pillars of a Jesuit education, where the ability to articulate beliefs and the confidence to say it before others is actively encouraged. In fact, the word Playroom (year group) was coined due to the importance of each year group’s dramatic performances, in a tradition stretching back to St Omers in the 16th Century.

Stonyhurst’s Performing Arts facilities include the state-of-the-art Centenaries Theatre at St Mary’s Hall, together with the College’s Academy Room - a real-life theatre with professional sound and lighting system. There is the Stonyhurst Dance Academy, with its dedicated dance studio, where Ballet, Tap, Modern and Contemporary dance are taught. Recent productions have included Treasure Island with rehearsals for the end of year production, Sweeney Todd, now in full swing.



December '23