ARTYFACTS: Day 10: Macbeth

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 10: Macbeth

Curious opening witches scene where static actors simply recite the words in the darkness. The problem, however, was the incredibly 'posh' pronunciation. It was like three ladies from Roedean in an elocution lesson. This was a problem throughout the play. Macduff had an authentic Scottish accent but Macbeth sounded like David Cameron. The 'Porter' scene was smart in that he became a she, but again her Scottish accent was weird. I'm Scottish but could hardly understand a word. One last word on the cast; Lady Macbeth was something else, a tall, blond figure looming over Macbeth.
But let's put accents to one side for a minute. Macbeth can suffer from a surfeit of blood and be smothered by contemporary interpretation. This is a pared down, skeletal version on a simple dark set with no props. It works because the tale and language is strong enough to sweep you along. It's basically a bloody, murderous, gangster movie, with characters right out of some brutal Mafia clan - the murderous moll, the tortured gangster, the cheeky doorman, dodgy doctors and blood and bodies galore. It's Shakespeare's thriller, full of action and twists. My good friend Ronnie is actually the modern Thane of Fife, as Chief Exec of Fife Council; he would have enjoyed this.


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