Leitheatre find new Tennant for Asylum

Mar 10 2014 | By More

Takin’ over the Asylum role cast

leitheatre-logo-260hBy Thom Dibdin

Leitheatre has cast Callum Barbour as Campbell Blair in its forthcoming amateur production of Takin’ over the Asylum, after the role became vacant – as announced in Æ last Thursday.

The original actor who had been down to play the lead role in Donna Franceschild’s adaptation of her television series had become indisposed due to work commitments.

The role of Campbell was created by David Tennant in his first major TV appearances in the 1994 series. It was played by Brian Vernel in the stage adaptation which toured to the Royal Lyceum in March 2013.

Leitheatre president Don Arnott told Æ: “We had seven applicants, all of a good standard. The young man who landed the part is Callum Barbour. He has experience, having trained at Napier and QMU. We think he will be great in the part.”

Leitheatre will be the first amateur company to stage a production in the new Festival Studio on Pottorrow when Takin’ over the Asylum opens there on 15 May for a three night run.

Although the adaptation is based on the original six-part series with Tennant and Ken Stott as ‘Ready Eddie’ McKenna, Soul Survivor and replacement double-glazing salesman, it has been moved up into the 21st century.

Speaking when the adaptation was announced by the Lyceum, Donna Franceschild said: “A lot’s changed since Takin’ Over the Asylum was aired in 1994. This stage version is set in a world of mobile phones, the internet and zillions of channels of digital television.

“But two things haven’t changed. Sixties Soul Music is still the Greatest Popular Music of All Time (fact, not opinion!). And people with mental health problems are still stigmatised, discriminated against in the workplace, depicted as ‘disability junkies’, ignored, shunned, even physically assaulted.”

Takin’ over the Asylum
The Studio at the Festial Theatre, Potterrow
15-17 May 2014, 7.30pm.
Leitheatre website: www.leitheatre.com
Leitheatre facebook page: www.facebook.com/Leitheatre


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  1. Emily says:

    Reading this has just reminded me how good the Lyceum production was. Looking forward to seeing Leitheatre’s version.