Saddleworth Players

Devilishly clever or desperately thick?

Hello there! I’m Andrew D. Wood, and I play Tony Lumpkin in ”She Stoops to Conquer” at Millgate Arts Centre, May 28-June 4.

I have been with Saddleworth Players, on and off, for about seven years now, and have acted in a variety of plays, but I have to say, She Stoops is possibly the oddest one I’ve been involved in. I have acted in farce as Clem Pepp in Alan Ayckbourne’s “Improbable Fiction” and even as the lunatic emperor in “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, but in this play, the language, the costumes, the wacky humour — all I can say is it’s going to be an interesting ride! My character is a scheming, camp so and so. Constantly going behind his mother and step-fathers back in order to deceive them. He resents being forced to marry his cousin, Constance, whom I guess he has some respect for, but certainly has no interest in marrying. He also causes problems for his step-sister Kate, when he deceives the terrible-with-women suitor, Marlow, during a chance meeting in the local Inn. It is still early days at the moment, however, so I am still at the stage of trying to work out whether he is devilishly clever, or desperately thick.

I first got into acting properly in college. I was a stupidly shy child, and I remember we had to give a presentation on a subject of our choosing in Year 11. I picked sharks. I got up in front of thirty or so of my classmates, and I froze. Completely. Needless to say, I failed. So, I thought I would try acting lessons to conquer my shyness, so I applied to do AS level Drama. I remember the teacher asking me if I had the confidence. I had to excuse myself to collect my thoughts, and I forced myself to do it. Eleven years on, I have been to University doing Theatre and Performance Arts, I am currently studying acting for Stage and Screen under David Johnson and am on the hunt for acting and voice over agents, hoping to do this professionally. It is absolutely true when they say acting is a bug that you catch and just takes you over.

I first joined the amateur scene in 2008, doing back-stage bits for Shaw Playhouse 2. During the next eight years, I’ve worked under numerous directors, including Jon whom I have worked with now for the third time. (So he must think I’m doing something right!). During that time, I have met so many dedicated and wonderful people. And talented people. Including my fellow cast members. I first met Helen, playing Kate, when we were having a read-through of a play I’d written, and she was a new member, by ‘eck she was good! I then acted alongside her in Improbable Fiction. I’ve acted with James at Shaw, done a poetry reading with Sam, Ian has played my father on numerous occasions. They are a totally able and dedicated group of people, and I love working with all of them!

Here’s to many more years of acting the goat!

For tickets to see Andrew click here.

Andrew D Wood, May 9, 2016