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Casting A Farewell to Arms #2

7th September 2014 by Morven Macbeth

Casting A Farewell to Arms continued…

A big ask indeed! Again seeking the expertise and all round font of knowledge that is Kay Magson casting director, we discovered from the first week of R&D that we needed the two remaining performers in the ensemble to be male, Italian speaking, multi-role playing actors with a good Standard American accent as the whole company take on the voice of Frederic Henry the protagonist and narrative voice throughout the piece. One actor should have a playing age early/mid-twenties, the other mid-forties. Trust me, that is a LOT to find in an actor but find it we did. We tried as much as we could to schedule meetings in pairs, one older range, one younger range so we could hear voices together, see people together in the space, how they responded to each other and to a bit of re-direction, to see some ‘play’ to be honest. Struck me that this was a key element, seems totally obvious as I write this down here but that elusive ‘thing’ we all talk about at audition is sometimes the coming-to-life, the real core happiness that you see in people when they have the opportunity to play. And funnily enough it was the very first pair of actors that we saw on the day that we asked to join us on the project.

Delighted that Joshua Johnson and Marco Rossi both said the magic word ‘yes’ which resulted in a positively glorious on lots of levels week of R&D at Cast in Doncaster (evening barbecues, mosquito bites and sunburn included, no, really). More on the week’s work coming up!


Morven Macbeth July 2014





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