Burning Books Casting Call

Two weeks ago we had our Arts Council funding approved to tour my debut play, Burning Books. Having spent what felt like every waking hour on the bid for about 8 weeks, everyone involved let out a huge sigh of relief when the email came through and we were able to let theatres know that we would be going ahead with performances. The UK tour starts in September and runs until the end of November so it's all systems go to get everything ready in time starting with the casting call. We're looking for 3 new actors to join the cast and are trying to get the call out as far and wide as we can. More information below, the deadline to apply is a week tomorrow!

Wolverhampton Arena Theatre and Jess Green Present

Burning Books

Casting Call

Call for:

  • Kat (F) – early 20s - Teach First student

  • Mrs Sizzly (F) – 50s - a woman who walks like she’s going to war

  • Scott (M) – early 20s - PE technician (he pumps up the footballs)

Audition location: Studio, Attenborough Arts Centre, Lancaster Road, Leicester, LE1 7HA

Fee: £450 for rehearsal week, £100 per performance x 16 performances, £24 subsistence x 22 days plus travel and accommodation covered

Email: neilreading@gmail.com

Key dates:

Deadline for submitting CV and headshot – 22nd June

Auditions – 2nd July

Rehearsals – 28th – 31st August, 3rd September plus another flexible date in November


  • 4th – 7th September – Newcastle

  • 8th September – Leicestershire

  • 11th September – Somerset

  • 14th September – Dorset

  • 15th September – Margate

  • 18th September – Birmingham

  • 21st and 22nd September – Derby

  • 29th September - Oxford

  • 6th October – Leicester

  • 11th October – Ipswich

  • 20th October – Leicestershire

  • 23rd November - Leicestershire


What do we do when schools are losing so many teachers?

On Teach First student, Kat’s first day at Hurstville Community College Nicky Morgan announces forced academistation for all state schools. Kat is ready for the picket line and can’t understand why her attempts to join the NUT are met by trade union stalwart, Janine with contempt.

With an invisible headteacher, staff are more concerned about the loss of their staff room, disappearing books and a teacher who hasn’t been seen for weeks. A powerful and humorous look at an education system buckling under government cuts and targets. A story of protest and the teachers who choose to fight back.

Burning Books is an adaptation of a music and poetry show of the same name which Jess took to the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014 and 2015 before touring nationally in Autumn 2015.

In 2016, with the support from The Arts Council Jess developed the show in to a stage play which she workshopped with professional actors. This culminated in two rehearsed readings in front of an audience of peers, theatre professionals and teachers. Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

In 2017 Burning Books was produced and performed in front of Midlands audiences at Curve Theatre, Leicester and at the Wolverhampton Arena. The play will now tour nationally with the support of Arts Council funding.

Production team:

Writer: Jess Green

Director: Neil Reading

Assistant Director: Paul Rogers

Producer: Arena Theatre

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