The chance to star in the movie version of the first book from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy attracted a queue of 4,000 people. Producers of the new movie began the first of four open casting sessions this morning in Cambridge. They are searching for girls aged between nine and 13 to star as the young heroine Lyra Belacqua in what will be the biggest child role since Harry Potter. Further auditions are set to take place in Kendal, Oxford and Exeter. The queue at Cambridge’s Corn Exchange began to form at 5am on Tuesday. All 1,500 young hopefuls who attended the event – chaperoned by 2,500 parents – were seen by casting directors. [More]