– by Chantelle Pitt
When three witches prophesize that Macbeth shall be crowned king, a door of possibilities opens up to the ambitious Macbeth and his adoring wife who soon begin to plot the events that will change not only their lives, but the lives of those around them, forever.
Conspiring witches, wicked plots and murders most foul; this is Shakespeare’s Macbeth but not as you know it. Performed by 3rd year WAAPA students and directed by Andrew Lewis, Macbeth is presented in modern day with crime and corporate takeovers. Not everyone is happy with Macbeth being crowned king after the previous king’s sudden and mysterious murder, and so begins what is arguably, William Shakespeare’s most violent play; filled with deceit, murder, madness, magic and tyranny.
This production of Macbeth was successful in the fact that it conveyed the main narrative and structure of Macbeth with ease. Costumes were simple and modern which kept to the production’s intentions of modernizing the tale. It took me by surprise to see that male characters were played by females but it was done with sophistication. Women wore suits with heels and it wasn’t hidden that male characters were played by females. Although I found this to be a unique and interesting experience, it still took a while to get used to the pronoun changes.
Notable mentions to Benjamin Kindon (Macbeth) and Shalom Brune-Franklin (Lady Macbeth) for their dedication to characterisation through the mad howling and enraged rants, as these two roles are very difficult roles to play. As a viewer, I commend director Lewis on the modernisation of the witches and Hecate as well as the clever creation and direction of Banquo’s ghost (Dacre Montgomery). One outstanding mention goes to comic relief Megan Wilding (Porter) who had the entire theatre shaking with laughter.
Unfortunately, the play was obviously set in the modern era, none of the dialogue was shifted to incorporate this change so, though the production may have displayed itself in the modern era but it did not adapt to fit it. This could be altered with changes from king to CEO or a visual sign that the countries or places that are mentioned, are companies instead.
This a truly impressive production, presented by a truly talented cast and crew. I highly recommend you see Macbeth at the Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA.
WARNING: This production contains some themes that may not be suitable for patrons under 15 years.
Macbeth runs until October 15th at the Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA. Information can be found at http://www.waapa.ecu.edu.au/performances-and-events/bookings
Image credit: Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts