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Could you slip into the role of one of Cook's characters?

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 20, 2012

  • The story of Beryl Cook's Plymouth, as depicted in her paintings, will feature in a new Theatre Royal production

  • Artist Beryl Cook, whose paintings featured larger-than-life Plymouth characters, as seen opposite

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Fancy starring in a Beryl Cook work? If yes, don't worry – you don't have to have thighs the size of Zeppelins or be dressed for a cheeky hens' night out.

But being a Plymothian is a big advantage for a role in a Theatre Royal show about the late, much-loved painter and the larger-than-life characters she portrayed.

Parts are up for grabs in Sailors and Sweethearts, a production depicting Cook's Plymouth.

The piece – by the Theatre Royal community group, the People's Company – will be based on stories and characters captured by Cook. It follows drop-in sessions earlier this year in which anecdotes and memories were gathered.

Writer Nick Stimson will feed the experiences into an original play, which will be performed at the Drum – the Theatre Royal's second space – next March.

Auditions were held earlier this week, with further sessions on Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30. You won't need to have acting experience or even the desire to step on to the stage. You will need to be over 18, though, and to join the People's Company at a cost of £6 year.

Nick has worked with the Theatre Royal previously on NHS The Musical, Union Street and Korczak. He said: "Beryl Cook painted Plymouth as only the people from Plymouth know it. The real thing. Bursting with Plymouth life and Plymouth people."

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