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The more actors you cast, the narrower the brief is for the characters that are left. I started casting in December and I had some strong ideas about what I was looking for. I wanted the soldiers to be modern squaddies. I wanted an earthy Benedick. Benedick has a real gift of the gab. He is clever and witty. With the princes, Don John and Don Pedro, I wanted them to be like Prince Harry, a royal who mucks in and takes part. (Jo Howarth – the director)


The production team has a meeting early on, and talks about actors that they have seen in the theatre or on TV that they think will be good for a particular part. We contact those actors, via their agents, to arrange an audition. On average, we meet about five actors for each part. Each actor is informed which role they are being considered for and are given either a speech or scene from the play to practice before they meet us. The auditions begin with a chat about the play and how each actor has responded to the character. They then read what they have prepared.

The director will then get them up on their feet to explore the section in more detail. The actor will probably perform their section two or three times. If we think that the actor is right for the production, we recall them, for a second audition on the Globe stage. For this the actor will be given a different piece to prepare and may be asked to do the scene with another actor. This may be someone who has already been cast, or who is auditioning at the same time.

This is to see how the actors work with each other and if there is chemistry between them that helps to tell the story. After recalls, the play is cast with a combination of actors that we feel are right for the production and the play. (Michael Oakley – the assistant director)