CDG News

The CDG in conversation with Omar F Okai (@TheBBTAs)

The CDG in conversation with Omar F Okai (@TheBBTAs)

Omar F Okai and Solange Urdang are the Co Founders/Directors of the #BlackBritishTheatreAwards (@TheBBTAs) that had its first ceremony in October 2019.

This year it is being produced by Kwame Kwei-Armah at The Young Vic (@YoungVicTheatre), in three very socially distanced and Covid safe spaces.

The BBTA Awards will be screened by @SkyArts on the 25th October.

Omar has joined us as the CDG celebrates Black British artists in the theatre, television and film industry during #BlackHistoryMonth (interviewer @HeatherBastenCasting, filmed by @BlackApronEnt)

Black British Theatre Awards Team
Solange Urdang: Co-Director
Omar F Okai: Co-Director
Ashleigh Tresize: Awards Producer
Karina Horsham-Maynard: Head of Strategy & Partnerships
Karen Farrell: Operations Manager
Tahlia Gray: Head of Sponsorship
Akosua Boakye BEM: Head of Outreach and Education
Rochelle Blair: Social Media Officer​

Statement from the Casting Directors’ Guild Committee

The Casting Directors’ Guild committee calls on the UK’s television and film industry, in light of COVID-19, to safeguard the future of UK theatre and theatre makers. The talent fostered in theatres throughout Great Britain and Ireland is envied around the world and is endlessly drawn on by screen media. We believe that television and film production companies must confront a stark reality: that, without your help, the talent pool which we all rely on faces its greatest existential threat in a generation.

In 1963, Anthony John, a theatre director (and father of current CDG Vice Chair Priscilla John), informed Howard Thomas, who ran the Associated British Corporation, that without financial assistance from the more affluent television sector, the theatres in which they found their directors, writers and actors would be run dry.

Aware that his network’s hugely influential Armchair Theatre had relied on and ultimately depleted talent both on and off stage, Thomas recognised the time to pay back had come and gave John the resources to establish the Regional Theatre Young Directors’ Scheme. The subsequent programme, and the successful writers’ initiative that followed, gave a platform to creators who would go on to push the boundaries of theatre, film and television for the next 50+ years and alumni include Ken Loach, Sue Townsend, Trevor Nunn, Sue Pomeroy & Bill Bryden.

Television and film continue to reap the benefits of UK theatres’ innovation and industry, with artists now celebrated for their screen work – from Sam Mendes to Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Abi Morgan to Chiwetel Ejiofor – having forged their careers on and around stages of all sizes in the UK and Ireland. Put simply, television comedy, for example, would be forever changed without the Edinburgh Fringe, leading actors in studio films would never have been discovered without the bold experimentation of affiliate theatres and celebrated screenwriters would have gone unnurtured without their local theatre’s new writing schemes.

It is vital that we, as an industry, acknowledge the grim ramifications of abandoning our theatre colleagues as they face the fallout from COVID-19. The Casting Directors’ Guild call on the more financially robust sectors of the arts to, once again, create unique creative and financial partnerships in a bid to save our theatres and keep the wheel of talent turning, to the benefit of the entire entertainment industry.

The Casting Directors’ Guild Committee: Victor Jenkins (chair), Priscilla John (vice-chair), Andy Brierley, Sophie Parrott, Kate Ringsell & Jessica Ronane

Working with Casting Directors – A Spotlight YouTube Video

David Morrissey, Naomi Ackie, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Daniel Mays, Daniel Monks and Jonah Hauer-King speak to Spotlight about how casting directors have helped their careers and why it’s important that they are recognised for their work.

Visit for more advice and tips about the casting industry.

The Spotlight UK YouTube channel has a wealth of video content about performing arts and the casting industry. Get advice and tips about headshots, auditions, self-taping, working with agents and lots more.

Spotlight is the home of casting, connecting talented performers with exciting roles since 1927. Casting professionals use Spotlight every day to fill roles in the latest blockbuster films, commercials, theatre productions and television shows. Find out more at

Press Release

Nominations announced for the 2nd CDG Casting Awards

The Casting Directors’ Guild (CDG) in partnership with Spotlight is pleased to announce the nominations for its second CDG Casting Awards, which will take place on Tuesday 11 February 2020 at Ham Yard Hotel London. This year’s event will feature six award categories: Best Theatre, Best Musical, Best Film, Best TV Drama, Best TV Comedy, Best Commercial. The CDG and Spotlight would like to welcome for the first time, headline sponsors Identity Agency Group.

Victor Jenkins, Chair of the Casting Director’s Guild commented: “We are delighted to present our second year of the CDG Casting Awards – the first of their kind in the UK to celebrate the expertise and significant casting achievements across Film, TV, Theatre and Commercials. The categories have been expanded this year to widen the genres, and as the nominations indicate, the calibre is exceptional. We were thrilled at the news last year that BAFTA has introduced a category for casting in both their film and television Awards and look forward to their debut appearance in this year’s ceremonies.”

The nominations for the 2020 CDG Casting Awards are:

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in a Theatre production sponsored by Independent Talent Group

  • Amy Ball for Sweat (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Stuart Burt and Julia Horan for Pinter at the Pinter Season (Harold Pinter Theatre)
  • Isabella Odoffin for Small Island (National Theatre)
  • Robert Sterne for A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bridge Theatre)
  • Charlotte Sutton for Death of a Salesman (Young Vic)

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in Musical Theatre sponsored by LW Theatres

  • Pippa Ailion and Natalie Gallacher; Casting Assistant Katherine Skene for Come from Away (The Abbey Dublin and The Phoenix Theatre)
  • Will Burton for Evita (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre)
  • Alastair Coomer and Charlotte Sutton for Company (Gielgud Theatre)
  • Stephen Crockett and David Grindrod for Waitress (Adelphi Theatre)
  • David Grindrod for Sweet Charity (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Sam Jones for Wise Children (The Old Vic)

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in a TV Drama sponsored by United Agents

  • Suzanne Crowley and Gilly Poole for Killing Eve Series 2 (BBC1)
  • Nina Gold and Robert Sterne for Chernobyl (Sky Atlantic in association with HBO)
  • Sam Jones for Black Earth Rising (BBC2 and Netflix)
  • Kate Rhodes James and Daniel Edwards; Casting Associate Gordon Cowell for Line of Duty 5 (BBC1)
  • Kate Rhodes James for The Long Song (BBC1)
  • Andy Pryor; Casting Associate Ri McDaid-Wren for Years and Years (BBC1)

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in a TV Comedy sponsored by Hamilton Hodell

  • Nicky Bligh for Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4)
  • Lauren Evans for Sex Education (Netflix)
  • Tracey Gillham for After Life Series 1 (Netflix)
  • Tracey Gilham for Catastrophe Series 4 (Channel 4)
  • Kelly Valentine Hendry; Casting Associate Alex Irwin for Ghosts (BBC1)
  • Fiona Weir and Alice Searby; Casting Associate Sarah Wilson for Brassic (Sky One)

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in a Film Sponsored by EON Productions

  • Kahleen Crawford for Only You
  • Kahleen Crawford for Wild Rose
  • Jina Jay; Casting Associate Olivia Brittain for Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
  • Reg Poerscout-Edgerton for Rocketman
  • Andy Pryor; Casting Associate Ri McDaid-Wren for Stan and Ollie

The 2020 CDG Award for Best Casting in a Commercial

  • Claire Catterson, Kharmel Cochrane, Sasha Robertson, Jessica Ronane, Nicci Topping for John Lewis 2018 Christmas ‘The Boy and the Piano’
  • Martin Gibbons for McCain ‘Differences’
  • Martin Gibbons for British Heart Foundation ‘Boy’
  • Sasha Robertson for Amazon Echo ‘Bedtime Story’
  • Emma Stafford for BBC ‘Wonderland’

The nominated productions premiered between 1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019 and have been selected by members of the Casting Directors’ Guild, who will now vote for a winner in each category.

The headline sponsor for the CDG Casting Awards is Identity Agency Group. The Awards are sponsored by LW Theatres, EON Productions, United Agents, Independent Talent Group and Hamilton Hodell, with support from Joe and Steph’s Popcorn, Organise-Us, Branded Talent and RikRak.


For press enquiries please contact:

Francesca Maguire, / 07747 605971


CDG Press Release

CDG welcomes new casting category at the BAFTA’s

“We are thrilled at the news that BAFTA has introduced a category for casting in both their film and television Awards in 2020. The overwhelming industry support since the announcement alone shows just how important this news is to so many of us. We do what we do because we love actors, we love being part of the story telling process, and above all else we are creative people.

The alchemy of casting has long been overlooked in awards categories. I am both personally and professionally over the moon about this most excellent news and on behalf of the Casting Directors’ Guild and its members…and Casting Directors as a whole….send a huge thank you to BAFTA for not one, but two new awards for the craft of casting.

We really hope that the creation of these awards will lead to wider recognition for the huge amount of work that goes into casting for both stage and screen, and instigate further casting categories.

Victor Jenkins, Chair of the Casting Directors’ Guild

Read the full story here: link to The Guardian or Variety