The BBC is bringing a new talent show to TV screens, which will see aspiring actors compete for a role in a drama series on the channel, as well as an agent.
Bring the Drama, will be brought to screens by the same team behind BBC’s Glow Up: Britain’s Next Make-up Star, and has been pitched as a place for someone completely “undiscovered” to get their big break in the acting world.
Those who have applied cannot have had prior acting representation or graduated from drama school. Instead, they are looking for untapped talent.
However, the premise of the show hasn’t been received well by everyone, with several actors, directors and viewers taking to social media to share their thoughts on the proposed series.
Reece Shearsmith, who many will know from shows such as The League of Gentlemen and Inside No. 9, tweeted: “Sorry, what?” along with an exasperated GIF of him from his appearance on The Great Celebrity Bake Off.
English actress Amy McPherson, who starred in Pandora, quipped: “The Hunger Games prequel looks so exciting.
The Hunger Games saw young “tributes” fighting to the death while people at home watched on TV.
Theatre director Andrew McWilliam added: “Appalling idea. I can picture the suits in the planning meeting… “Hmm…how can we further demean and denigrate a freelance profession that has already suffered and endured hardship during Covid?””
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While fellow theatre director Adam Morley remarked: “Here’s an idea, why not work on casting more untapped talent & less celebrity driven shows.
“Why not use the time and resources on more castings and opportunities rather than gladiatorial entertainment at the expense of people’s dreams. Actors hopes aren’t our entertainment.”
It isn’t the first time actors have competed for a part on a TV talent show.
BBC viewers may remember when Andrew Lloyd Webber found stars for his West End musicals in the shows Any Dream Will Do, How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria? and I’d Do Anything.
And ITV announced, just this week, they would be searching for two actors to play the roles of Sophie and Sky in a future production of Mamma Mia! in their reality show, Mamma Mia! I Have A Dream, with auditions taking place on a Greek island.
One viewer also took to social media to remind others of the time that ITV aired a show similar to Bring the Drama, with the eventual winners becoming a family on Emmerdale.
They took to Twitter to say: “Wrong. This was tried some years ago for a character role in Emmerdale. Seem to remember they didn’t last long, and the whole thing was pretty awful. X factor for actors.”
Even though Soapstars received thousands of applicants, all five of the winners had left the soap less than a year after they first appeared on our screens.
Speaking to Deadline, the BBC defended the series, commenting: “The aim of Bring The Drama is to open the door to aspiring actors who have not previously felt able to consider professional training for a variety of reasons, for example lack of funds, geographical distance or lack of diverse representation.”
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