Grads seek Gbatokai

Sep 15 2014 | By More

Casting op for amateur production of Festen

The Grads, an Edinburgh amateur theatre company which delights in hard-hitting and controversial theatre, is staging a production of Festen as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations.

FestenCropThe play itself concerns a 60th birthday party, although it is hardly a celebration by the time the final twists and bitter reciminations of family secrets are revealed, as might be expected from an adaptation of the first film made using the Dogma 95 rules.

The company is looking to complete its casting with a young – 20 to 45 year-old – male black actor to play the role of Gbatokai, who appears part way through the play as an unexpected guest at the birthday dinner.

Helene, daughter of the birthday boy, introduces him to her family. Their unconsciously racist attitudes further unravel the veneer of respectability that this family have built up over decades.

Adam House

The production will be staged at Adam House on Chambers street in the last week of November, with performances Wednesday 26 to Saturday 29. The group rehearses three times a week: Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons, although the production’s director Claire Wood told Æ the actor will not be required at all rehearsals.

She added: “Festen was first performed ten years ago on the West End stage to great critical acclaim. The play deals with challenging themes but is a brilliantly written piece so we can’t wait to perform it. We have – most of! – a brilliant cast of Grads regulars along with some new faces and we’re in Adam House for the last time before its refurbishment. All in all, it feels like a fitting way to mark our theatre group’s 60th anniversary.”

The script was adapted by David Eldridge from the Danish film and play by Thomas Vinterberg, Mogens Rukov and Bo Hr Hansen. The Stage’s review of the 2004 West End performance is here:

Anyone interested in auditioning for the role of Gbatokai should email

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