Stratford casino soap opera looking for local stars

By Rob Virtue on September 20, 2013 4:26 PM |

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It's already adopted EastEnders but the recently invented E20 postcode is getting its second soap opera.

But there's no Queen Vic or Albert Square in sight as this rolling fictional drama takes place in Stratford's super casino.

Persona is set in Aspers at Westfield Stratford City and follows the lives of characters playing staff and customers of the venue.

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The soap opera is the first ever to be designed specifically for smartphone users and is watched through a downloadable app.

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Creator Don Allen said: "We just want to make fun entertainment. It's like an EastEnders or a Hollyoaks but each episode is just two to three minutes long.

"It's predominantly for a female audience aged between 18 and 29, whose lives often mirror the situations the characters face.

"Some of them are going through difficulties, while others think they will rule the world."

The crew started filming last Monday and the first episode will go online on October 8. The relaunched app is free to download to a smartphone or tablet but its name is yet to be unveiled.

This is the eighth series of Persona but the first to be filmed in the casino.

Don believes the link-up with Aspers will help attract more viewers to the series, which is already considered a success with more than 200,000 views per month.

"It's a great setting," he said. "Working with Aspers we've taken into account the casino environment.

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"The characters are playing employees and customers and the storylines reflect the excitement and buzz of the place."

The show will be broadcast each day from Monday to Friday.