China Plate and Birmingham Hippodrome are searching for exciting local talent to take part in their new concert musical To The Streets! Over the weekend of 10 – 12 June, the creative team will hold open auditions at the Hippodrome, with a view to finding strong singers and dancers from the local community, particularly those that represent the wide diversity of Birmingham and the West Midlands. The community cast will perform alongside the principal cast at three parks in Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton in August as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival.

To The Streets! is an uplifting new musical by Roy Williams and Tim Sutton inspired by the 1963 Bristol Bus Boycott, a pivotal moment in the UK’s civil rights history. To The Streets! follows the story of Paul Stephenson, an idealistic youth worker who takes to the streets to stand up for equality in Bristol where tensions are running high as the Omnibus Company refuse to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. Lorraine, a teenager newly arrived from Jamaica, joins the fight and in so doing, finds her voice and becomes part of a movement that changes history.

The special performances will take place at Handsworth Park in Birmingham, Windmill Hill in Coventry (University of Warwick Campus) and West Park, Wolverhampton. Successful auditionees will be required to commit to rehearsals from week commencing 18 July and all performances across the three sites in August. Travel costs will be supported for rehearsals and access bursaries will be available for individuals who may otherwise face barriers to their involvement in the community cast.”

Choreographer Danielle ‘Rhimes’ Lacointe said, “Having witnessed the dance talent of Birmingham and the West Midlands first hand through my work with ZooNation, I’m delighted to get the opportunity to work here again on such an exciting production, telling such an important but little-known story. We’re looking for a group of excellent singers, but also a group of strong and passionate dancers to bring history to life in a dynamic and relevant way. We’re especially keen to hear from people with some experience of hip hop, jazz or lindy hop, whatever your age or background.”

Music and Lyrics Writer Tim Sutton said: “To the Streets! tells the story of how a community stands up for itself in the face of discrimination and injustice. We’re looking for a group of talented people who sing from the heart, to play a vital role in this brand new piece of musical theatre. The score is an eclectic mix of ska, calypso, rock and roll and uplifting anthems, and we hope to have an exciting, hard working summer where we collaborate to tell this fascinating story to a new Midlands audience.

Auditions are open to anyone aged 16+, with the aim of building a community company that is representative of the city and region’s diversity. See all the full details here.

Tickets for To The Streets! are on sale now. Click here to book tickets for Birmingham and Wolverhampton. To book tickets for Coventry, visit the Warwick Arts Centre website here.