Wyre Forest Tabler Andrew Bingham swapped his life as a mechanical engineer for an evening treading the boards as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s revival of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Andrew, who has been part of the amateur acting company The Nonentities Society for two and a half years, got his big break at the age of six performing in Snow White as the Wicked Witches’ side-kick!
Since then he has gone on to perform in a range of different roles including Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk, Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz and Leo in Stephen Poliakoff’s Sweet Panic.
However, it was only recently that Bingham caught the Shakespeare bug playing Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice. Then the Nonentities Society he was a part of heard about the RSC’s special plans for the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Anyone familiar with A Midsummer Night’s Dream will know that it features a play within the play performed by amateur actors.
It was the vision of artistic director Greg Doran to get different amateur companies to play the amateur actors within the play, and that’s where The Nonentities Society comes in.
There were two auditions, the first was a two-day workshop hosted by some of the best Shakespearean coaches in the business, and even getting to this stage was more than he could have hope for.
“It was amazing and I learnt so much,” he said.
The second audition took place at the RSC and involved piecing together a dance routine. After the two auditions, Andrew found out that his amateur acting society had been chosen to perform alongside a professional company which he described as “a dream come true”.
The Nonentities Society finished their run in Stratford back in February but Andrew will be back this month to perform in the final the dates at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.
Andrew plays Snug the Joiner and has picked up some acting superstitions as a result.
He added: “I have to clean my teeth before going on and I always have to stand in the same place just before I go on, I don't know why, I just feel like I can't get into character or something is wrong if I don't.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream was reviewed by The Telegraph who praise the Nonentities Society’s part in the play saying they bring the freshest and most entertaining moments of the night. There is even a mention of Andrew’s hilarious contribution.