Sleeping Beauty – Panto Chorus Auditions

The award-winning and record-breaking Mercury panto is back, and this year the magical world of Sleeping Beauty is brought to life!

Once again our panto chorus will take centre stage, and this is the chance for any budding young stage stars to audition. Our panto chorus are on stage for all of the big show-stopping numbers, taking part in lots of singing and dancing and they will play a variety of roles.

Auditionees must be aged between 12 and 17 and strong vocal and movement skills are a must.

The deadline for audition applications is Sunday 18 June.

Audition Day

Auditions will take place at Mercury Theatre on Sunday 25 June.

Audition slots and group allocations are given on a first come, first served basis and the deadline for audition applications is Sunday 18 June.

The sooner we receive your application, the earlier in the day your audition will be, and please do note we will have limited audition slots.

Audition day schedule:

  • 10.00am – Registration for Group 1
  • 10.10-11.10am – Group 1 Audition
  • 11am – Registration for Group 2
  • 11.10am-12.10pm – Group 2 Audition
  • 12pm – Registration for Group 3
  • 12.10pm-1.10pm – Group 3 Audition
  • 2pm – Registration for Group 4
  • 2.10pm-3.10pm – Group 4 Audition
  • 3pm – Registration for Group 5
  • 3.10pm-4.10pm – Group 5 Audition
  • 4pm – Registration for Group 6
  • 4.10pm-5.10pm – Group 6 Audition

Before signing up to audition parents/guardians must ensure that their young person can commit to the following rehearsal schedule and be available for all performances. The panto chorus will be split into two teams and will alternate shows, doing half of the performance schedules each.

To help our wardrobe department make costumes for the successful auditionees, we would like to measure all auditionees with four basic measurements on the day of the audition. We simply require height, shoe size, chest and hip size. These measurements will be completely confidential, will not be used in any way as part of the decision making process and any unsuccessful auditionee’s measurements will be destroyed. Please let us know if there is an issue with this, you can do this in the application form under ‘Is there anything you wish to add?’.

Sleeping Beauty Rehearsal/Performance Schedule:

  • Wednesday 30 to Thursday 31 August – 1 hour time slots between 10am-4pm – Costume Fittings
  • Monday 30 October to Friday 3 November – 4.30pm-7pm – Rehearsals Week 1
  • Saturday 4 November – 10am-1pm – Rehearsal Week 1
  • Monday 6 to Friday 10 November – 4.30pm-7pm – Rehearsals Week 2
  • Saturday 11 November – 10am-1pm – Rehearsal Week 2
  • Monday 13 November – 4.30pm-7pm – Rehearsal Week 3
  • Tuesday 14 November – 4.30pm-8.30pm – Rehearsal Week 3
  • Wednesday 15 November – 4.30pm-7pm – Rehearsal Week 3
  • Thursday 16 November – 2.30pm-6.30pm – Rehearsals Week 3
  • Friday 17 November – 4.30pm-7pm – Rehearsal Week 3
  • Saturday 18 November – 10am-5pm – Rehearsal Week 3
  • Tuesday 21 to Thursday 23 November – 6pm-10pm – Production Week
  • Friday 24 November – 1pm-10pm – Production Week / Dress Rehearsals
  • Saturday 25 November – 11am-10pm – Notes / First Performance
  • Tuesday 28 November – 10am-6pm – Additional Technical Rehearsal Day
  • Saturday 25 November to Sunday 14 January (including Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day) – Various times (see the Sleeping Beauty page) – Performances

Offers of a place on one of the two Panto Chorus teams will be made by telephone call by Thursday 6  July 2023. Unsuccessful auditionees will be contacted by email.

To sign up to audition please fill in our form at the link below.

Panto Chorus Audition Form


How are the children selected and what happens next?

On the audition day your young person will be asked to sing and dance in front of our creative panel that will include the director, choreographer and musical director. Successful auditionees will be contacted by telephone by Thursday 6  July 2023. The two teams of young people will then be chosen to perform on an alternate basis, but will be required to rehearse together throughout. In order for the young people to perform in our pantomime we are required by law to obtain a license from Essex County Council, so along with a confirmation letter, all successful auditionees will receive a pack of licensing forms they must complete. This will include school permission, a Doctor’s note, passport photo and proof of ID. It sounds like a lot but we will always provide a checklist of everything you need and are happy to help with any queries you may have along the way.

When will rehearsals start and how does the schedule work?

Rehearsals commence as of Monday 30 October and your child will need to be available for all rehearsals. Typically, the panto chorus will be called for rehearsals after school every day Monday-Friday from 4.30pm-7pm and on Saturdays from 10am-5pm. As we get closer to “production week” (the week the show opens), the call times will change to accommodate final run-throughs, dance calls and technical rehearsals on staff. These rehearsals will take place during school time. Attendance is compulsory throughout and it is essential that any other engagements you have over the festive period are considered prior to committing to the audition process as it is a professional production and absence from the show cannot be guaranteed.

How much time will my young person need to take off school?

As part of the licensing agreement, your young person will need to get permission for absence from school. Some schools can have concerns about this as it affects their overall attendance, or can clash with exams or school productions that are taking place at the time. Typically over the run, the panto chorus will be expected for approximately 15 half days during the rehearsal and production period to include run-throughs, dress rehearsals and either morning or afternoon shows. The same absence is requested of all children involved. Attendance is essential during production week from Tuesday 21 – Friday 24 November for safety reasons, as all of the technical elements of the show come together on stage.

When do performances start and how does the schedule work?

Performances start on Saturday 25 November and your young person will need to be available for all shows from Saturday 25 November 2023 – Sunday 14 January 2024. The children will perform in their teams on an alternate basis and a performance rota will be produced in advance. Please be aware it is difficult for us to accommodate other engagements. Your young person may be asked to understudy for another young person.

How will my young person be looked after?

The panto chorus will be supervised by licensed chaperones. They will be signed in and out for each session and we ask for parent/guardian assistance when collecting your young person after rehearsals and performances as we do not allow them to leave the premises unsupervised. We appreciate what a big commitment the pantomime is for the parents just as much as the young people and will do our best to stick to scheduled times and dates. If your young person is unwell, you will be asked to come to the theatre to collect them.

If you have any further questions please email [email protected].