Chance to follow in footsteps of Dame Judi

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Aspiring actors are being given the chance to follow in the footsteps of Dame Judi Dench in an outdoor theatre production.

Auditions for parts in next year’s York Mystery Plays will be held in January.

Those trying out for the main roles will be given the chance to play one of many biblical characters, including Mary, who was played by Dame Judi in 1957.

Next year’s Plays are expected to be the biggest outdoor theatre production in York in more than a decade.

They will take place in York Museum Gardens throughout August and are expected to be watched by more than 28,000 people.

The Plays, which cover religious history from the Creation to the Last Judgment, have been told by the people of York for hundreds of years and are a world-famous part of the city’s cultural heritage.

Next year, a cast of 1,000 people, including internationally known actors, will create a new interpretation on an epic scale.

Dame Judi, who is one of the patrons of the Plays in 2012, said: “Having performed in the York Mystery Plays three times, I know the excitement that these events bring to the people of York and the important place they hold within the city’s history.

“When I heard the Mystery Plays were returning to Museum Gardens and the scale and ambition which York Theatre Royal, Riding Lights Theatre Company and York Museums Trust have for this production, I was honoured to be asked to become patron.”

Liam Evans-Ford, community producer for the Plays, said they were also looking for volunteers to help backstage, from costume-making to stage management.

Auditions for main roles will take place on January 9 and 10 and group ensemble auditions will be held between January 11 and 18. All auditions will be held at the De Grey Rooms, in York.

To book an audition place call 01904 715454 or for more information go to www.yorkmysteryplays2012.com.