Milly Jupp and Stash Kirkbride – photo © Mark Ivan Benfield

SEARCHING FOR PASCAL – Hostry Festival hunts for
young talent for 10th anniversary key production

Norfolk’s Hostry Festival is searching for a young talent to star in a rarely-performed Peter Ustinov play which will be the central production of its 10th anniversary celebrations this autumn.

Running from October 16th to 31st this year, with plans to adapt should Covid restrictions and social distancing still be in place, the festival officially launched in 2011 having staged its first-ever production in the Hostry of Norwich Cathedral the previous year. This year, it celebrates a decade of original programming ranging from high profile guest speakers, concerts, drama and dance performances and exhibitions.

At the centre of this year’s programme, which will be announced in July, will be the Norfolk premiere of Beethoven’s 10th, a play penned by one of the country’s favourite actors, renaissance man Sir Peter Ustinov. Originally planned for the 2020 festival, which was postponed due to the pandemic, it is reprogrammed for 2021 retaining its cast who will be joined by new additions including a young male actor yet to be chosen.

Auditions will be held for a young male actor of African/Afro-Caribbean & Caucasian mixed heritage to play the juvenile lead role Pascal Fauldgate – a youthful composer who meets his father’s icon, Beethoven, when the great maestro is transported through time and lands in Pascal’s family home in 2021.

He will act alongside Jamaican-born actress/singer Milly Jupp, who plays his mother. In addition to being a seasoned actor and opera singer, Milly is an award-winning entrepreneur who also runs Milly J Shoes on Tombland in Norwich. Also in the cast is festival actor Neil Auker, while Dylan Baldwin takes on the title role.

Artistic Director Stash Kirkbride said: “The actor cast as Pascal will be working with actors of real calibre and experience, this will be sure to help develop his skills set in a fun, supportive, yet disciplined environment. This casting call out across the county is also in-line with our new festival Open Door workshops, starting in Autumn of this year, designed for us to engage with yet more people of all ages interested in being a part of the festival, both on and off stage.”

The festival is also currently in negotiation with the Beethoven Museum in Bonn, Germany, to arrange a Live Streaming of the play from the new Hostry Festival website which launches this Spring.

Requirements for the role of Pascal:

Must be 100% committed to the two-month voluntary period with the Festival during September/October 2021 (evenings 3/4 nights a week, and 6 nights a week in final two weeks, half term October).
Aged 18 or over and able to play age 18 to 25.
Can be an experienced working professional actor, amateur, or just starting out in the arts.
Have a relaxed Standard English (RP) accent – a voice coach will be available.
Must be no taller than 5ft 9 inches.

Submissions must be made by May 1, 2021, to artistic director Stash Kirkbride at

The play will run from October 25th to 31st. Rehearsals will be Monday – Friday 6:30pm to 10pm nightly from Monday 6th September through until Saturday 30th October 2021, with the role of Pascal being called 3 nights a week for first 4 weeks, then 5 nights a week for all of October.

To take part in the new Free Entry Hostry Festival Open Door Workshops starting in autumn 2021, email


The Hostry Festival is a cultural arts festival held each year at The Hostry at Norwich Cathedral. In 2021, it celebrates its 10th anniversary. While its first ever production was staged in The Hostry in 2010, the first Festival launched in 2011. In 2016, it became an official Not-For-Profit Community Interest Project remaining fully independent. The majority of the key events programmed for 2020, postponed due to the pandemic, are set to go ahead in autumn 2021.

For the 4th year running, the University of East Anglia (UEA) is partnering with the Festival as its Principal Sponsor again in 2021 and will co-host the Norfolk Arts Awards with the Festival at the Sainsbury Centre on Saturday November 6th 2021.

The Key Developments for 2021 will include the Central Production Beethoven’s 10th and the following Signature Projects: The Norfolk Arts Awards in association with the EDP, Total Ensemble Theatre Company which also celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Paint Out and The African Choir of Norfolk. There will also be a number of Free Ticketed Events, including outreach workshops.

Hostry Festival Patron Lord Melvyn Bragg: “It’s amazing to keep this going for 10 years, on such a scale, it very rarely happens. These things happen for two or three years then the enthusiasm goes, or the funds go, or the people go, or they fall down, but not this one. If they can get through 10 years, they can get through a further 10 years, and a further 10 years after that! It’s admirable. Festivals like this are one of the things that makes this country great.”

Hostry Festival Patron Olivia Newton-John: “Wishing everyone at the Hostry Festival congratulations on your 10-year anniversary. How wonderful it is that the festival has been supporting up and coming talent for all these years. I wish you a further 10, and many more 10s after that. Have fun with it all. Sending you love and light.”