Casting Call: Actresses Needed for R&D Orchard of Lost Souls

Fio is a Cardiff based theatre company, which champions diversity and representation in the arts sector, working across the UK and internationally, bringing world-class, socio-political stories to local audiences.

Fio is casting for the final phase R&D of our stage adaptation of Nadifa Mohammed’s ‘The Orchard of Lost Souls’. The first phase saw development take place at The Yard, London and The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and The Sherman in Cardiff. This final phase will take place between London (venue TBC) and Cardiff (Chapter Arts Centre) with the end goal of creating a full production, which tours across the UK in 2020 with the view to go to Edinburgh Fringe in 2021.

The novel tells the story of the Somali Civil War through the eyes of three female characters:

  •  Deqo: a female orphan, playing age 9

  •  Kawsar: an old widow, playing age 55-65

  •  Filsan: a young female, soldier, playing age mid to late 20s

They will work with Fio’s Artistic Director Abdul Shayek, Ayesha Antione (writer), Sarah Wright (puppeteer), Andile Sotiya (movement director) and Jenny Sealey (access consultant).

We are looking to engage four female performers for two weeks for the period of 25th November - 6th December 2019 (excluding weekends) culminating in two sharings/ performances at the end of each consecutive week in Cardiff and London respectively.

This two week rehearsal period will be paid £500 per week, a total of £1000; we will also cover travel to Cardiff and accommodation in Cardiff.

We are looking for 4 female performers with connections to East African heritage or Somali background or as near to it as possible. We want to work with actresses:

  •  who are comfortable with playing multiple roles

  •   good improvisers

  •   strong at devising

  •   working under pressure

  •   happy to be quite physical

  •   are great storytellers.

  •   are generous collaborators

  •   playful and fun loving

    Age is currently not relevant to this casting process. If you are quite inexperienced but interested in the project, please get in touch as we are keen to meet as many people as possible.

It isn’t necessary for the actresses to be able to speak other languages. However, they may need to learn and use various phrases, which will be learnt in the room.

If you are available and interested, please could you send your CV and showreel to or an email of interest.

We will be holding workshop auditions in London early November (location and date TBC).

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