September 21 2014 Latest news:
Jane Ball, News editor
Monday, April 21, 2014
A popular summer concert with a history spanning more than 50 years is in jeopardy after the show’s leading man was forced to pull out.
Now organisers are desperately searching for a replacement man – or woman – but with one proviso: they must be about 5ft tall.
Romford Summer Theatre, which performs Shakespeare’s plays in the open air theatre at the rockery, Raphael Park, Romford, had planned to put on the Twelfth Night during the last two weeks of June – like it has done every year since 1962.
Director Vernon Keeble-Watson said: “The young man due to play the part of Sebastian has unfortunately had to drop out and so I am now rather stuck to find a young man, or young woman, to take on the role.
“The problem is that Sebastian is one of twins and the girl I have playing his sister, Viola, is only 16 and quite diminutive at just 4ft 10in.
“Since they are supposed to be mistaken for each other it would be great to find someone of a similar stature and age to play the part.”
He added: “I can probably get young guys who are 6ft tall, but that would, I feel, be stretching the point and incredulity too much. Unless I get sponsored by Specsavers!”
Now, Vernon is suggesting a woman or girl could play the part.
“If Shakespeare used boys to play girls pretending to be boys and falling in love with other boys pretending to be girls,” he said, “then why shouldn’t I have a girl to play a boy instead.
“It’s nowhere near as strange – if you think about it.”
If anyone can help, contact Vernon by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 01708 704297/0794 0734 590.