Murky grey skies and a steady drizzle couldn’t dampen the spirits of the two hundred-or-so would-be West End stars who lined up outside the London Palladium this morning, ready to audition for a part in A Chorus Line. The classic Broadway musical is having a major revival at the Palladium from next February in tribute to its recently departed composer, the great Marvin Hamlisch.
TheatrePeople.com slipped on its waterproof overshoes and sauntered down to Oxford Circus to show its solidarity with the umbrella-toting throng of optimistic young thesps waiting for the open casting call for A Chorus Line to, well…open.
At the front of the queue, which stretched all the way down Argyll St and a long way ’round the corner into Gt. Marlborough St, we bade the cheeriest 9am hello we could muster to 19-year-old Sarah from Italy, who was unforgivably bright and smiley for such a miz Monday morning.
"I didn’t come here from Italy just for this," she told us. "I moved here before. But I read about the audition and I’m a dancer - although a little bit singer and a little bit actor. I’m semi-professional. I have experience in some little companies."
Was she a big fan of A Chorus Line? "I don’t know the show very well," she admitted, sheepishly. "But I do know about Marvin Hamlisch…and I like him.”
And her hopes for the day ahead? "I hope that I will be part of the cast!"
Nicola Bond ("Late 20s" is all she’d tell us) came from Sunderland for the audition and, despite the driz, was in a similarly fizzy hope-I-get-it kind-of mood.
"I’ve been here since 6.30 this morning," she told us. "I know the music from A Chorus Line, but I haven’t seen the show live. I’m a fan of Marvin Hamlisch though."
Would she be gutted if she didn’t make the grade today?
"I’m just going to treat today as an experience and see what happens," she said. Madam, we commend your pluck.
With a deluge looking imminent, we determined to hunker down in the nearest available coffee shop as soon as possible. But not before we’d had a quick word with 22 year-old Andrew Osborne, who’d been queuing for an hour-and-a-half in front of the Palladium's opulent façade.
"I’m a professional actor," he told us. "I’ve just been around the world, and come off a long contract. This is my first audition for a while, so I’m just going to give it my best and see."
Unlike some of his fellow auditioners, Andrew's very much up-to-speed with Hamlisch’s magnificent musical. "A Chorus Line is one of the good ones," he told us.
How was he finding the team spirit this morning? Fixing us with a level gaze, he said: "It’s wet."
And with that perceptive remark ringing in our ears, we watched a crocodile of hopeful hoofers disappear through the doors of the London Palladium in search of a nice dry stage and a crack at the big time.