Emily St. John
July 26, 2014
The audience are invited on to the stage for this season’s production of Macbeth starring Hugo Weaving.
Each member is led through the bowels of backstage to a stand of makeshift seating facing outwards to the traditional auditorium. The actors have nowhere to hide.
Kip Williams’ direction is unconventional and daring. The actors are devoid of costume, the table is bare bar a few props: a dagger, a cup of blood, a set of King’s robes. You might have guessed you stumbled in on a table read months before the final production.
But the opening scene’s humble beginnings unravel, along with the characters’ minds, to make the stage fit for a King and his Lady Macbeth. Melita Jurisic’s performance of the blood lust Queen is inspired and frightening.
Williams’ staging is seamless, incorporating smoke machines that mimic the fearsome fog of Scotland and a wall of silver confetti that when touched by light shimmers like sheets of rain.
The three witches quite possibly steal the show with their unique interpretation of the cauldron, a flower vase, into which they fill ingredients from the dinner table. While Paula Arundell’s murdered Banquo follows you home.
This is a two-hour redesign of the classic Shakespeare tragedy with no interval, a far cry from the original in many ways. But fear not, some things you simply cannot change. There is of course, plenty of blood.
In a twist of cruel fate, the ten-week season is sold out. Fair is foul and foul is fair.
For more information, or to demand an extension, see the STC website.