The upcoming musical production of The Bodyguard is scouring the country for young performers to play Fletcher, the son of stalked performer Rachel Marron.
Speaking to Official London Theatre about the search, Children’s Casting Director Jo Hawes said: “I’m looking for a dark-skinned boy who’s got a voice to die for and is about 10 or 11. I don’t want to make it any more specific than that because I don’t want to put people off.”
Hawes, who needs to find six young stars-in-the-making for the musical that is coming to the Adelphi theatre this winter, has already seen a number of auditionees but has not been struck by one with the wow factor.
“The role is integral to the musical,” she says. “We can’t do it without him. We need this boy. He’s got to be something special, but if he’s got the voice and the look, we will do the rest.”
“People sometimes think it’s got to be professional children,” she continues, “it’s got to be stage school children or children who have worked before. None of that’s true. If they’ve got the basic things we need, we can take them through the process. That’s what I do all the time.”
It is true, Hawes has worked on 75 shows in the 17 years she has been casting and licensing child performers, among them Oliver!, Matilda The Musical and The Lion King. So committed is she to helping younger performers and their parents that she now also runs auditioning masterclasses and has written a book, Children In Theatre, to explain the theatre world to the uninitiated.
The Bodyguard, which stars Tony and Grammy Award-winning American actress Heather Headley alongside British star Lloyd Owen, was launched earlier this week and will come to the Adelphi theatre in November. Based on the classic romantic drama about a high profile performer and the man hired to protect her, it will feature fantastic songs from the back catalogue of the film’s original star, the late Whitney Houston.
“It doesn’t matter where they live,” Hawes says of prospective Bodyguard auditionees, “we will support them. I know it’s a strange new world, but they will have the best time.”
For more information about auditioning for The Bodyguard, email firstname.lastname@example.org