When Agent Burlieque is called and asked to find a selection of unusual performers for a new TNT drama by the makers of The Great Gatsby for TNT we are all ears. ‘Can you find a bear handler, two topless prostitutes, a bodhrum (drum) player, a fiddler and even a bear’ we were on the casting like there was no tomorrow. It is castings like this that make us tick; if we haven’t already got them on the books we will hunt till we find them! And hunt and provide we did!
Here is the full and fabulous casting list we were given:
Set in a market place:
2 X Commedia actors or jesters
4 X street musicians: 1 X percussion (Chenda/Davul style) 1 X Bodhran/small drum, 2 X viola
1 X bear wrangler
1 X bear owner
1 X fiddler
1 X pipe player
1 X Small drum player
Punch and Judy show/puppeteer
Juggling duo (random objects, comedic)
3 X acrobats working together in a choreographed heap
1 X knife thrower
1 X ox with cart
1 X cittern player
1 X drummer
1 X fiddler
1 X cup game fraudster
2 X topless prostitutes
2 X pickpockets
And a bear ?
Working all through the night is Agent Burlieque’s forte, the buzz of locating the most unusual performers and actors, supporting artists, extras and all manner of weird and wonderful folk for TV and film work.
The project, which comes from Craig Pearce, the long-time writing partner of auteur filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, stars British newcomer Laurie Davidson in the title role. Elizabeth helmer Shekhar Kapur directed the pilot.
Will tells the wild story of young William Shakespeare’s (Davidson) arrival onto the punk-rock theater scene in 16th century London – the seductive, violent world where his raw talent faced rioting audiences, religious fanatics and raucous side-shows. It’s described as a contemporary version of Shakespeare’s life, played to a modern soundtrack that exposes all his recklessness, lustful temptations and brilliance.
Pearce wrote the script and executive produces with Kapur, Alison Owen (Elizabeth) and Debra Hayward (Love Actually), as well as Vince Gerardis, Howard Braunstein and Louise Rosager. The project was previously set up at HBO and once had a straight-to-series order at Pivot.
Davidson is still in drama school, slated to graduate in July 2016. Co-starring alongside him are Olivia DeJonge, Colm Meaney, Mattias Inwood, Jamie Campbell Bower and Ewen Bremner.
“Will has an energy and style that is unlike anything else on television today,” said Sarah Aubrey, EVP of original programming for TNT. “Shakespeare was a 16th century rock star, and Will perfectly captures in contemporary terms what that must have felt like for the young writer and his fans. We are delighted to be working with such an extraordinary team of executive producers and cast in putting a fresh, bold spin on the story of Shakespeare.”
Attracted to Will’s naïve genius is Alice Burbage (DeJonge), the talented, beautiful and rebellious daughter of James Burbage (Meaney), the carpenter with a vision to build the first theatre in London since Roman times. Despite being the daughter of an impresario, Alice is forbidden by society from pursuing a career in the theatre. Her brother Richard Burbage (Inwood), is innately talented, but too much in love with himself and prone to overact. A chance encounter at the theatre leads him to team up with Will in what would soon become the greatest actor-writer partnership the world has ever seen. Rounding out Will’s cast of characters are playwright, poet and chief Shakespeare rival Christopher Marlowe (Bower) and wealthy and notorious law enforcer Richard Topcliffe
Passage of writing taken from deadline.com
For unusual and unique casting please call Saph Rox at Agent Burlieque on 07720 781 298. No casting is too big and no casting is too small.