Macbeth (2004)

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Poster by Stuart Draper

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Anton Krause, Assistant Director Stuart Draper

Performances: Wed 15th – Sat 18th December 2004, Prompt Corner


Macbeth. That’s the one with the witches isn’t it? “Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble” and all that. Toothless old crones lobbing dubious body parts, newly hacked off various creatures of the night, into a big pot. Oh, and there’s a bit about a moving wood and it’s all kings and castles and kilts and stuff, like the flashbacks in Highlander only with the brightness turned down.

Well no. Not this time. For me Macbeth isn’t about any of these things. What it is about is one man’s ambition driving him into a downward spiral of violence until it consumes and destroys all those around him and threatens to bring down the very fabric of the society in which he lives. It is about his relationship with his wife, who at first supports and indeed drives him onward in his murderous deeds but then finds that she is unable to cope with the moral consequences. It is about his changing relationships with his friends who once were valued and loved fellow men-at-arms and who become mere obstacles to his increasingly self-centered, paranoid psyche.

This is the Macbeth I have always wanted to portray, and I would like to put on the play without any of the supernatural and historical trappings, which so often get in the way of the real story. My Macbeth will be set in the present and will contain no supernatural elements whatsoever. The witches will be voices in Macbeth’s head, heard only by him, and will represent the darker half of his psyche, the ambition which he dare not admit is his own. This is perfectly consistent with other representations of his madness such as the air-drawn dagger and Banquo’s ghost, both of which only he sees.

The context will be that of a modern organised-crime family with Duncan at the head and Macbeth, Banquo et al his captains. This setting allows us to replicate the hierarchical structure and the context of family and succession essential to the plot. It also explains why people kill each other. Don’t think, however, that it means mumbling, extremes of method acting and Italian-American accents. Neither will any of the dialogue be changed to support this interpretation (although there will be some cuts).

Director's Notes <ref>Director's Notes - SLT Website</ref>




Some review quotes go here


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