We presume West End producer Thelma Holt won’t be casting former TV presenter John Leslie anytime soon. Leslie has been making headlines of late thanks to his casting in the Good Company touring production of Pride and Prejudice (See News, 26 Aug 2004). In an unprecedented step, Holt - who’s also chairman of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre where the tour opened to the critics this week - actually issued a press statement against Leslie’s casting. "This is a classical work,” remarked Holt. “We were very surprised he has been cast because he has no classical experience whatsoever that I know of. There are 93,000 members of the acting profession. These are trained classical actors, and we would have expected the company to have found a suitable Wickham among them. We can only describe this piece of casting as opportunistic." Less opportunistic, of course, was Holt’s own decision to cast EastEnders' actor Ross Kemp in last year’s tour of The Taming of the Shrew (See News, 8 Jul 2003). Admittedly, Kemp is a drama school graduate though he himself admitted at the time that he hadn’t done any Shakespeare in the years since his student days.