Victoria Hamilton-Barritt – 'Diane'
‘I’ve been in auditions where they pick people out and say, “Why do you wear your hair like that? Do you think you’re making the best of yourself?” It can be so brutal. I’ve done some horrendous auditions: your tights split, you realise you haven’t shaved your legs, you kick your legs in high heels and go splat on the floor. You get remembered – that was the girl who fell flat on her face.’
John Partridge – ‘Zach’
‘When I auditioned for “EastEnders” [Partridge played Christian in the soap] I’d done about 15 auditions in a row and been told “no”. I was at that point where I thought: I’m 36, I don’t have anything to show for myself, I can’t do this any more. I went in, I read, and they were like, “He was terrible, he was the worst one, but he is the character.” You can be awful but they see something in you. I got my break.’
Leigh Zimmerman – ‘Sheila’
‘My most memorable audition was for “The Producers” for Mel Brooks. I had heard that he was asking people to tell jokes at the end of their audition. My character was Swedish so I learnt a Swedish nursery rhyme but ended the joke with a line from one of Mel’s movies: [adopts German accent, à la Inga in ‘Young Frankenstein’], “Vot an enormous schwanzschtücker!” Mel loved it.’
Ed Currie – ‘Bobby’
‘There were about 1,000 people at the open audition for “A Chorus Line”. We queued up for six hours in the rain. On stage it was like a cattle market. Everyone was getting whacked in the face, left, right and centre, and shooting evil glances at one another. We must have done the jazz routine about 12 times, we were sweating. And then they said, “Okay, we’re going to start the audition now!”’