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>
- Macbeth - Paul Hurley
- Lady Macbeth - Lisa Anne Molloy
- Duncan - Des Muller
- Malcolm - Minna Pang
- Donalbain - Mark Davies
- Banquo - Jack King
- Macduff- Dermot Jones
- Lennox - Brian Yansen
- Ross - Matthew Lyne
- Angus - Nicky Pruss
- Monteith - Mike Smart
- Caithness - Peter Fortune
- Fleance - David Clements
- Seyton - Stuart Draper
- Lady Macduff - Kate Monro
- Son (of Macduff) - Deaglan Whelan
- Gentlewoman - Maria Bates
- Doctor - Carole Coyne
- Porter/1st Murderer - Helen Chadney
- 2nd Murderer - Anton Krause
- Old Man - John Lyne
- Messenger - David Lomas
- Stage Manager - Jane Moorhead
- Asistant Stage Manager - Linda East
- Production Assistant - Kat Boyce
- Lighting & Sound Design - Stuart Draper
- Lighting Operator - Sarah Farage
- Sound Operator - Paula Kelly
- Wardrobe - Kat Boyce
- Lady Macbeth's dress Design & Manufacture - Alan Buckman
- Second Unit Director - Lisa Marsh
- AV Cast - Patrick Pilcher, Rebecca Mays and Jane Dickerson
- Special thanks to: Will Howard and the Noises Off (2004) company, Lancasters, Val Williams, Jenny Bennett, Jess Osorio, Alan Buckman.
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Reminiscences and Anecdotes
Members are encouraged to write about their experiences of working on or seeing this production. Please leave your name. Anonymous entries may be deleted.
- Macbeth (1977)
- Macbeth (1980)
- The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of Macbeth (1987)
- The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's production of Macbeth (2005)
- Macbeth (2015)
- Macbeth (2022)