‘A Macbeth’ transforms Shakespeare
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
A Macbeth by Charles Marowitz, the latest Douglas College theatre production, is a re-imagining of the original Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Although all the dialogue is from the original play and the plot is roughly the same, it’s definitely not the standard Macbeth.
Those who remember the original play from high school would do well to recall what they can now, as it may be a little confusing otherwise. Even someone with a good knowledge of Macbeth would have to pay close attention to the dialogue in order to remember who’s who, especially since many of the characters are changed significantly.
A Macbeth still follows the story of Macbeth and his wife, Lady Macbeth, as they begin a series of murders designed to ensure he will be King of Scotland for years to come.
However, in this version, Macbeth also has two alter ego sons who function as internal dialogues and reflections. They speak sometimes simultaneously, sometimes separately.
The well-known Three Witches or Weird Sisters still guide the actions of Macbeth on his killing spree, and provide a steady flow and narration of sorts for most of the story.
The set design, simple costumes, and performances in A Macbeth are all truly magnificent. It’s clear that a lot of effort and detail went into getting every sound effect, costume change, and emotional line absolutely perfect.
All the actors give fantastic renditions of their complicated psychological characters—especially hard to do in a re-imagined play where they all have different motivations from the original. Lady Macbeth is incredibly chilling and terrifying, especially in her final scene, doing something straight out of a horror film.
The Three Witches go through a variety of delicious manipulations throughout the events, and are arguably the protagonists and mischief makers of the entire plot. Their acting and rapid taunting of the characters—both in and out of story—is perhaps the most enjoyable part of A Macbeth.
The audio and visual effects are equally as amazing. Realistic thunder, lightning, and rain storms plague many scenes, including one scene that surprises the audience in its visual effect.
The theatre has an interesting stage consisting of platforms that rise up and fold in, allowing for a variety of terrain. Although there are minimalist props, the whole play seems detailed in its imagery
The play is quite short, being only about an hour and 15 minutes. It’s condensed and rearranged compared to the original Macbeth. Fans of goth, psychological horror, or just plain Shakespeare and theatre should check this one out.
A Macbeth is playing from November 8 to 16 at Laura C Muir Theatre. Tickets are $10-12 and are available through Massey Theatre at 604-521-5050.