Macbeth - Review

Right from the start the audience knew that it was in for something unusual and exciting from Mark Wilson’s interpretation of this Shakespearian classic when it was greeted with not three but eight witches clothed in startling white. Their incantations gave way to a surge of action as soldiers, in modern battle dress, took to the stage. This breathless, fast pace continued throughout the evening often with one scene overlapping another. The speed of the action was not, in the main, to the detriment of the delivery of the text. By giving the play a modern setting the director reminded us that this familiar story of the corrupting effect of ambition is as pertinent today as it was when written.

Of the many interesting touches that the Director created I would pick out two for special mention. Having the Witches draped in black veils and seated at the banquet table to suggest the supernatural that conjures up Banquo’s ghost was not only theatrically thrilling but it provided a clever segue into the Witches next scene. I also liked the binding of the eyes ritual that enabled Macbeth to learn of further prophecies.

In the title role, Andy Costello, conveyed well the initial torment between conscience and ambition that eventually gives way to total ruthlessness. Particularly impressing was the scene where he hallucinates a dagger before him. Macbeth’s downfall is due not only to his belief in the Witch’s prophecies but also to the taunting of his wife played with wild eyed passion by Tessa Pointing. With a large supporting cast the New Venture, once again, showed its depth of acting talent and its ability for fine teamwork.

Barrie Jerram