The show on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at Downs Hall took on some hot topics but the execution was excellent. Before the show even started you could tell that it was going to be a good one with the layout and some more traditional Scottish songs playing. The production happened in a theater in the round where the audience sat around the stage and could be viewed from all angles. Once the show started it took off and kept going!
The costumes were definitely contemporary, using modern business suits for royalty, coveralls with tactical vest for army, and other modern outfits that suited the individual characters. The costumes, although modern, definitely fit the narrative and helped distinguish the characters, especially when there was a significant change in the story or when the same actor played a different character.
Another thing that was interesting was the lighting. It changed with each character and event in the story line. With Duncan the light was a bright white. The weird sisters had a dimmer green light. MacBeth had a dimmer white light and a purple lighting for when MacBeth was hallucinating. Blue indicated Banquo’s ghost while yellow was for an early morning, and red for murder. Having different lighting helped progress the story and differentiate who and what was happening.
Language was another barrier overcome and seemed to be a mix between old and new English. As it is a Shakespearean play, the old English language was prominent, but there was also a lot of modern language that could be picked up and understood. Whether intentional or not, the mix of languages helped the audience understand the play. The old English language kept the feeling of a classic play, while the use of modern English helped to understand what was going on in the play. It was definitely a good way to overcome the language barrier.
Special effects was another thing that was well done. Bagpipe music helped transition the scenes seamlessly, while other sound effects helped enhance the current action. Sure the combat could’ve been more realistic, but the fake blood, although not a lot, helped convey a murder. The disco ball, on the other hand, with upbeat Scottish music brought out the party! The flag changes, although small, really helped convey the current setting. A white flag with a red X symbolized Duncan, while a white flag with a blue X symbolized MacBeth. A white flag with a red cross indicated Great Britain, and at the very end, the moderner UK flag indicated that the state had become the United Kingdom.
Now, as for the actors, they were amazing! Transitions seemed seamless, mistakes were well covered and barely noticeable, and the actores confidently portrayed their characters, drawing the audience into the play. They even interacted with the audience a few times! Talking to them, handing out papers, asking questions, and so forth. And being on a stage in the center of the crowd really didn’t seem to affect them. In fact, it made the performance even better! Murders where intence, hallucinations prominent, and greed was a thirst quencher. At the very end, the cast danced to accept the audience’s applause as the night came to an end.