SheShakespeare is back this time with the Scottish play, with their female twist on the bard’s characters, while retaining the poetry of the original. An austere black set, in vivid contrast to SheShakespeare’s first production, which was ultra feminine in design with marshmallow tones. The Pact theatre allows plenty of room to move for the fifteen strong cast, and the actors have cast off the frothy dresses for more androgynous street clothes.
The prophecy of the witches sets the play in action which sees the despotic Queen MacBeth become deranged and ultimately her own worst enemy as paranoia sets in. The rest we all know, but the all female cast with Beth McMullen leading as MacBeth take on the characters with verve. The large stage sees the characters running on and off in from various directions, keeping the energy levels high. Of course when the bodies start to drop there is sufficient blood to keep the drama high as well. The effects were well done, the bloodbath wasn’t a bath at all, just a light smearing: enough to impress without terrorise. This is not Oedipus Schmoedipus after all.
HIghlights? Suz Mawer as the unfortunate Banquo was effectively haunting, while Emily McKnight as Lady MacBeth was stirring at the play’s conclusion. Her seductive power over the Queen could have been pushed further, but her raw emotion was palpable. Director Shelley Casey’s production begins with the funeral of their child, perhaps a foreshadowing of the death and violence that is to yet to come. The grief-stricken parents agony at the death of the child could be the link to the ensuing madness which is only briefly referenced in the original play. Either way the production is impressive with strong performances across the board.
MacBeth is on until 8 Sept, for more information and tickets see: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=406840&
Director: Shelley Casey
Featuring: Megan Bennetts, Isobel Dickson, Rizcel Gagawanan, Joy Gray, Daniela Haddad, Prudence Holloway, Sonya Kerr, Emma Louise, Erica Lovell, Cassady Maddox, Suz Mawer, Emily McKnight, Beth McMullen, Lana Morgan, Grace Naoum
Above image by Isobel Markus-Dunworth