Illyria is now accepting casting applications for 2021.


Illyria celebrates its 30th season in 2021. Would you like to work for one of the longest established, most widely respected and highly acclaimed of the open-air theatre companies?  If so, we'd like to hear from you.

Illyria’s shows are very physical and demand very strong vocal skills. The productions are ensemble - no individual is the star. Actors need to be fearless in giving HUGE performances and, within parameters, interacting freely with the audience.


We rehearse in the far west of Cornwall. Rehearsals are 6 days per week, and the entire cast will stay together in one or two houses. Travel to Cornwall, accommodation and breakfast during rehearsals are all provided and paid for by Illyria.


On tour there are at least two days off per fortnight (generally, but not always, Mondays). Vans return to base/London on average once a fortnight, but sometimes less frequently. Travel on tour and hotel accommodation (sometimes self-catering) is provided and paid for by Illyria. Please note: rooms are normally shared twin rooms.


Each tour has a company of actors (in this production there will be 5) who work as a Covid-secure fixed team. Everyone mucks in with everything, including stage-management, driving, costume/prop-maintenance, radio/TV interviews, and most importantly get-ins & get-outs which involve lugging heavy steeldeck staging. No-one gets off lightly. All jobs are everyone’s jobs.


Performances continue regardless of the weather. Depending on your point of view, acting in the pouring rain is either horrendous or hysterical. What is your point of view? Honestly? 


Please think long and hard about this kind of work before applying. Touring with Illyria is not like indoor touring at all because open-air shows demand greater physical and vocal energy, and because the elements can all be against you: your get-in becomes laborious and muddy, the wind blows your voice away from the audience or drowns it out completely, and your quick-changes into sodden costumes become an endless struggle. You will be cold, tired, and you'll explore realms of wetness you've never dreamed possible. Let's not mince words: it's knackering. But for the right people the hardships are outweighed by the camaraderie, the balmy days and the fun: during the last 30 years 75% of Illyria’s actors have returned for more! (Over 50% return for 3 seasons, 20% for 5 seasons or more!)

Illyria is proud to have adopted Equity’s Outdoor Touring Theatre Guidelines. This means we offer terms, conditions and pay approved by Equity – in fact we exceed them. Please bear this in mind when choosing between Illyria and non-compliant companies who offer remunerations well below the legal National Minimum Wage (for example £3300 for a 15 week season of 40+ hour weeks with no statutory holiday pay).


We would like to hear from versatile performers who are up for the challenge of outdoor touring. Your CV should prove your love for small-scale touring and ensemble performances by showing a number of these kinds of jobs already. We need to be certain that every applicant has genuinely understood the physical, mental and technical demands of open-air touring, so submissions will ONLY be considered if accompanied by a detailed covering letter from the performer themselves. We can see your skills and experience from your CV, but we want to hear about *you*, why this particular kind of work appeals to you and how it plays

to your strengths. 

Location: UK & Netherlands open-air theatre tour
Dates: Rehearsing 3 May, touring 28 May - 12 September (19 weeks in total - dates subject to alteration) 

Wage: £450pw + 1 meal OR £7 per day while away from home, plus paid holiday, all in accordance with Equity Outdoor Touring Guidelines. 

Like-for-like comparison with non-Equity-compliant companies offering a per-season fee of £3500 with no statutory holiday pay, this job equates to a per-season fee of £8550 PLUS meal allowance and paid holiday (where applicable). Travel and accommodation on tour provided.


Following the phenomenal success of Illyria's 2018 tour of The Adventures of Doctor Dolittle, we're delving back into Hugh Lofting's amazing stories to create a brand-new musical adaptation of the Doctor's FURTHER adventures with Jip the Dog, Dab Dab the Duck, Gub Gub the Pig, Polynesia the Parrot. Where in the world will they go? Will they even stay on this world?! Which new animals will they help along the way? Will the Rats still have pithy observations to make? Is Gub Gub still dreaming about cake? A show for children about the animal language expert from Puddleby-on-the-Marsh who is on a mission to gain a greater understanding of the animal kingdom.


Character Details:

We are looking for exceptionally versatile Actor-Singers/Puppeteers to play multiple animal roles (puppetry) and maybe even a few humans (non-puppetry).


Playing Age: 24 - 99

Playing Gender: Any


  • We particularly welcome Black, Asian and ethnic minority applicants. All appointments will be made on merit.

  • All applicants must have superb singing skills, with experience in both solos and multiple part harmonies. We are looking for singers with a good vocal range, ideally soprano/mezzo or tenor.

  • Previous experience of puppetry is essential.

  • A full clean driving licence, preferably with van-driving experience, is also essential.

  • All applicants must have a genuine passion for small-scale touring and children's theatre. Successful applicants will have a CV that demonstrates this.

Please submit: 

  • Spotlight link (or equivalent) or CV & Photograph

  • Vocal reel link

  • Covering letter/email (see above)


Please email you application the director, Oliver Gray:, with “CASTING DR DOLITTLE” in the title bar. 

Closing date for applications: midday 31st March 2020. Auditions to be held online (via Zoom) on 8th April.

Successful candidates will work within a Covid-secure fixed team for the duration of the contract and will be asked to strictly limit contacts outside of the fixed team and their immediate family/household.


Off stage, face coverings, social distancing and the use of sanitisation products will be mandatory, and we may ask for candidates to be regularly tested.