Theatre group invites residents to share stories for performance

ROLE PLAY: Tom at the Royal Manor Theatre performing as a variety of characters

ROLE PLAY: Tom at the Royal Manor Theatre performing as a variety of characters

First published in Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Trainee Reporter

ONE last casting call has been made for Portland residents who wish to feature as part of an art festival.

Performer Tom Marshman is looking for one more person to include as part of his ‘Everybody’s Auditorium’ project at the Royal Manor Theatre.

The project will see Tom re-enacting the lives of others in a 10-minute performance.

Tom already has seven performances lined up which will see him highlighting the stories of a fisherman, historian, head teacher, and an environmental campaigner among others.

He said: “It feels like quite a well rounded, juicy pack of cards, a really good collection of people.”

People can take part in the project by sponsoring a seat at the theatre. As well as receiving a plaque, they’ll receive a private viewing of their story for family and friends.

Each person’s story will feature as part of a larger performance at this year’s b-side Festival, which takes place between September 5 and 14.

Tom said: “If there’s anything they don’t like within the piece we can edit it out or we can talk about it.

“They sit on the stage and I do a piece that is kind of in their seat that they have sponsored but I will circumnavigate all around the space.

“It’s actually really great looking at the theatre from the stage because it is such a beautiful set up and the red seats just make it feel really theatrical.”

One of the performances will be a tribute to a Portland resident who recently passed away. Information was gathered about the person through friends and family.

Tom said he had found all of the interviews to be really surprising.

He said: “All of these stories are in some ways ordinary but also extraordinary because they somehow chart Portland and its history and what it is.

“Because it is very seat based, I ask people about a significant place, a significant seat in people’s life, and people really latched onto that notion.”

If you would like to sponsor a seat for £50 and see your story performed at the theatre, contact Tom directly at

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