A NATIONAL Trust house near Pershore has taken an unusual approach to auditioning professional actors as part of a project to bring its historical characters to life.

The first audition took place in front of visitors at Croome Court last week to introduce visitors to Croome Encounters.

For the auditions, actors created a three-minute performance in front of visitors and volunteers whose views were canvassed throughout the day before the panel made a decision.

By the end of the day, nine actors were invited to become part of the team and work will now begin on the rehearsals which will also take place in front of visitors.

Rachel Sharpe, Croome’s Local Partnerships Officer, said: “Croome Encounters is a new version of ‘live interpretation’ we are launching at Croome in the Spring.

Visitors will be able to encounter actors in the house and around the parkland who will be telling Croome’s most interesting stories.

“It was great to see so many volunteers, staff and visitors engaged in the process. Everyone really enjoyed watching the pieces being created, and people advised us on who they would like to see walking the boards at Croome in the future.

"The actors all commented that this was a first for them too.”

Alice Padley, a member of staff who sat on the panel, said: “For several years now we have talked about, dreamed about and envisaged what it would be like to create an experience for our visitors which would set us apart from any other National Trust place and put Croome on the map, not only for its beauty, originality and restoration work but also for it's exciting, emotional and innovative visitor experiences.

"The process which began today was a culmination of years of preparing and hoping that these aspirations would one day become a reality. "

Visitors can see rehearsals taking place on various days over the coming months and visitors thoughts on characters, stories or styles of performance they would like to see are welcomed.

Croome Encounters official first day will be Sunday, April 13 with performances taking place in the house throughout the day.