Blah Theatre Arts and culture

Casting Opportunity!


1. Overview 

We are seeking two performers to work with us on A Hidden Garden, an exciting new show for children aged 5 years + and their grown up’s. The show is going into production this Summer and will tour venues across the North in the Autumn, performing to school and family audiences in theatres, community spaces and libraries. 

2. Dates 

Development and rehearsals: 

  • Development week – Monday 17thto Friday 21st June 
  • Rehearsal week 1 – Monday 15thto Friday 19th July 
  • Rehearsal week 2 – Monday 22ndto Friday 26th July 
  • Rehearsal week 3 (Tech Week) – Monday 29th July – Friday 2nd August 
  • Up to 3 re-rehearsal days: tbc in September 

All rehearsals and the development week will take place in either Leeds or Bradford. Touring: 

Dates are still being confirmed for the tour – the following is a draft tour schedule: 

  • Preview shows at Mind the Gap, Bradford – Saturday 3rd August 
  • Two weekend dates in September/early October – community venues (tbc)
  • A day (tbc) during the last week of September at Mind the Gap, Bradford 
  • Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th September – Waterside Arts, Sale 
  • Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th October – venue tbc 
  • Thursday 10th October – Arts Centre Washington 
  • Saturday 12th; Sunday 13th; Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th October – venue tbc
  • Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd & Thursday 24th October – Libraries/ community venues through Spot On touring network in Lancashire 
  • Week commencing Monday 28th October – venues to be confirmed 
  • Saturday 2nd November & Monday 4th November – Leeds Playhouse 

3. Fee 

A weekly fee of £600 will be paid. 

Relocation costs will be covered for out of area actors. 

You will be responsible for paying your own tax and National Insurance 

4. Casting information General: 

We love working with young audiences and want to engage performers who share our passion. The show has been developed with our local community and a range of creatives and there will be further opportunities for devising during the development week. We are therefore seeking performers with experience of working collaboratively and/or devising. The show will tour to a variety of venues and the whole team will be required to assist with stage management duties. 

Individual casting details: 

The Boy – what we are looking for: 

  • A male-identifying or non-binary performer who can convincingly play a child.
  • We are particularly interested in applications from actors of South Asian heritage, to reflect the backgrounds of the children who helped us to shape the story and characters, and to attract audiences from this community. 
  • You will sometimes need to operate a pigeon puppet – training will be provided.
  • You will occasionally operate sound and mechanical elements in the show, which you will be supported to do. 
  • You will engage directly with the audience, so should be comfortable with leading light-touch participation. 

Further information about the Boy: 

The Boy comes from a home where money is scarce and his mum is bringing him and his siblings up alone – she often works long hours, leaving him with time to himself which he fills by playing outside near to his home. He is bright, curious, and caring, but sometimes gets into trouble, especially at school where he is easily distracted. He hides what’s happening at home from his peers, and having little money is a barrier to him joining in with their out of school activities, so he is often left out. 

The Man – what we are looking for: 

  • A male-identifying performer from the global majority who can convincingly play an older character. 
  • You will sometimes need to operate a pigeon puppet – training will be provided.
  • You will occasionally operate sound and mechanical elements in the show, which you will be supported to do. 
  • You will engage directly with the audience, so should be comfortable with leading light-touch participation. 

Further information about the Man: 

The Man is from a sanctuary seeking background, and is socially isolated – this is partly through choice and partly through circumstance. He is resourceful and has employed skills and experiences from his previous life to create a beautiful urban garden from scratch, repurposing things that people have thrown away. The garden is where he feels at peace and where he has a sense of purpose, but recently he has begun to feel lonely here. He finds it hard to trust others, especially people who are representative of authority. 

5. Show details

A Hidden Garden is a small-scale touring show set in an urban garden, created for children aged 5+ and their grown-ups. It explores themes of friendship, food poverty, community and displacement, in an accessible and hopeful way. 

A Hidden Garden centres on the unusual relationship between an isolated older man from a sanctuary seeking background, who has created a hidden-away urban garden, and a young boy who doesn’t have enough to eat. One day whilst playing, the Boy accidentally stumbles upon the garden and encounters the Man, for whom it is an unwelcome intrusion. However, 

as Winter becomes Spring, their relationship thaws and the Man starts to teach the Boy about tending the plants, helping him to grow food. In turn, the Boy teaches the Man the names of the plants and how to begin to trust in the world again. 

As Spring turns to Summer and the garden grows, their friendship blooms. But dark clouds soon gather as the garden comes under threat. Ultimately, they are able to face this together, as the Boy helps the Man to find a caring and supportive community, just beyond the garden fence. 

A talking pigeon also features – she is being cared for by the man in the garden after breaking her wing. She is the storyteller, who moves time on in between the scenes. She also engages the audience in operating simple mechanical elements that are built into the set that enable the garden to physically grow before their eyes. 

A short film of the development process can be viewed here: 

6. How to apply 

Please email telling us which role you are interested in and include a short statement highlighting your relevant experience. If you prefer, you can send us a voice or film recording lasting no more than 2 minutes. Please also attach or link to your acting CV or Spotlight profile. You must be available to audition on Tuesday 30th April. 


We are only able to contact those who have been shortlisted. Those invited to audition will be notified by Friday 19th April. 


Workshop auditions will be held in-person on Tuesday 30th April between 2pm and 6pm. Further details of the audition process will be sent to those invited to attend. 

7. About Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah 

The Blahs have a 38-year history of creating high-quality theatre with and for children and young people about the things that matter to them. We take work to wherever children and young people need it including theatres, community spaces, schools and museums.