Chaos, confusion and police at SABC1 open casting call

Chaos, confusion and police at SABC1 open casting call


Cape Town – Chaos and confusion again reigned at SABC1's botched auditions for one of the SABC channel's new drama series in Rosebank, Johannesburg, similar to confusion at the Durban auditions a week ago that was called off halfway.

SABC1 told people that the channel is looking for fluent Zulu speakers for several character roles, as well as one character speaking Swati.

On Thursday hundreds of people showed up at 20 Rosebank Road where SABC1 said auditions would be taking place for a new drama series – only SABC1 wasn't there and neither were the producers after the open casting call was abruptly cancelled without notification.

People who queued at the Durban Exhibition Centre in Durban a week ago for the talent search spoke of similar chaotic scenes.

In Durban there was apparently only one admin person and no clear organisation or instructions, some people were whisked past the line for preferential treatment, script leaflets ran out, there was no food or water available to buy, there were long queues, and the audition process was completely abandoned during the afternoon after organisers allegedly gave up and just left.

In Johannesburg there was even more chaos when the auditions didn't take place, with no word from SABC1 or cancellation notice and hundreds of people part of the channel's audience, turning up and milling about, not knowing what was going on.

POLICE CALLED TO DISPERSE CROWD

As tempers frayed and people got angry, police were called to disperse the crowd whose excitement and hope turned into disappointment and rage directed at SABC1 and its lack of proper communication.

SABC1 publicists Phil Mabitsela and Dzivhuluwani Siala didn't respond to Channel24’s media enquiry on Thursday afternoon about the confusion at the abruptly cancelled Rosebank auditions and there's been no statement from the SABC.

SABC1 viewers slammed the channel for its disorganisation and silence.

"SABC1 is so disorganised through these auditions," said Nomondensele. "We've been here since 08:00 but not a single person has been let in??"

"SABC1 get your house in order," said Naledi Chirwa. "You made a public announcement of open auditions, people are here to audition, some from other provinces! You cancel auditions ON THE DAY and don't even mention it on your page like you did to market it."


Hermoso Nisi said: "SABC1 you do realise we are the exact same people that you expect to go watch this drama of yours? What would happen when we decide to boycott this show when it airs?" adding: "SABC1 you are disrespectful, inconsiderate and deserve ZERO support for this drama."

"Thanks for scamming us with fake open auditions. You are truly pushing us to withdrawing our support. You deserve failure."