DIRECTOR Harri Marshall will hold auditions for York Settlement Community Players’ autumn production of The Red Shoes this weekend.

They will take place at Southlands Methodist Church, in Bishopthorpe Road, on Saturday from 10am to 1pm and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.

The Settlement Players will present Nancy Harris’s modern adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s story in October. “If you are interested in taking part and would like more information, please contact me via email, sent to,” says Harri.

“A couple of hours will be spent doing simple movement exercises, script work, ensemble work etc. In the last hour, auditionees will be seen separately and you’re asked to prepare a modern monologue for this, though it’s not necessary to learn it by heart.” Notes on the characters can be found at

In The Red Shoes, an orphan girl, adopted by a wealthy family, is given a pair of beautiful red shoes. At first it appears her dreams have come true, but appearances can be deceptive. “This is a play that delves into desire, deception, fairytale and magic, exploring love, loss and the faults that make us all human,” says Harri.

“We all grew up with fairytales that stay with us; The Red Shoes is one of those types of stories. However, what’s exciting to me, as a director, is that within this play audiences will recognise many tropes and characteristics we get from traditional stories, and yet this work beautifully twists and subverts them, making for a completely contemporary way of presenting an old-fashioned tale.

“That’s why I’m passionate about bringing this work to York audiences. I hope they get mesmerised by the magic of this story just as much as I did.”

Harri will be directing a full-scale Settlement Players production for the first time. “I moved down to York in September 2018 after the Edinburgh Fringe with nothing but my trusty suitcase and backpack, in search of connecting with more theatres and creatives,” she says.

Harri, who identifies as a deaf director, has created work since 2016 in venues such as the Theatre Royal, Winchester, the Oxford Playhouse and the Canal Café Theatre in London. “Here in York, I’ve brought work to the TakeOver Festival 2018 and celebrated the Settlement Players’ 100th birthday with the rehearsed reading of You Can Never Tell,” she says.

Harri has received training from the Young Vic and Bristol Old Vic, as well as the Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme at the Manchester Royal Exchange. “My background grows from technical theatre and my approach to any show is highly collaborative with the performers involved,” she says. “I really look forward to getting to know the Settlement Players community and I’m very excited to be sharing The Red Shoes, bringing to life this retelling of a story full of magic, destruction and desire.”

Charles Hutchinson