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A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the RSC

April 9, 2016

A Play for the Nation is a project by the Royal Shakespeare Company as part of the 400 year celebrations since the Bard’s death in 1616. There has been a competition amongst amateur groups across the nation for the chance to play the “Mechanicals” in an RSC production of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, performing on the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

The group from our region, the West Midlands are “The Nonentities” from the Rose Theatre in Kidderminster. They are what makes this production of the play so special. Chris Clarke as Bottom, Sue Downing as Quince, Simon Hawkins as Snout, Alex Powell as Flute and Andrew Bingham as Sung are hilarious. They play their roles with broad Black Country accents which contrasts so beautifully with the almost received pronunciation from the RSC professional cast. They bring a true sense of authenticity to the play and display a real command of acting which can only come from such a deep love and commitment for the craft.

From the professional cast I thought that Lucy Ellinson was stand out playing PUCK. Clever casting and an insightful performance gave this critical character an edge. Director Erica Whyman has knitted together these two plays into one remarkable performance which is worthy of the title “A Play for the Nation”.

RSC-group-The-Nonentities-Photo-by-Topher-McGrillis

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