Silver arts award review of Macbeth

A review of the Macbeth performed by the Shakespeare globe. I explore the different factors that made the piece so insightful. 

Silver arts award review of Macbeth

Macbeth is a story of power, manipulation, and psychologically twisting. Macbeth gets word from three supernatural sisters that he will be king. However, the current king announces that the heir to the throne will be his current son, Malcom, and not Macbeth. Him and his wife then plot a plan to kill the king, causing Malcom to flee to England in fear, leading to Macbeth’s crowning. Power gets too much for Macbeth though and he starts going on a killing spree to ensure he stays on the throne which ultimately leads to his downfall when people turn against him.

Throughout the play there was interaction with the audience. This included when the witch at the beginning of the play started in the audience as well as when props and characters where drawn through the audience. I particularly enjoyed when King Duncan arrived on a golf cart and interacted with the audience in a royal fashion. This was very effected as it made it very amusing for the audience and gave the stage managers time to transition props and set into the next scene, for example putting “congrats” balloons out when Duncan was interacting with the audience, and when the porter “through up” over the audience. This showed the modern comedy which I found really effective in keeping the audience engaged.

I thought that the costumes which were used were very unique as they had a modern twist on them. For example, King Duncan was wearing a suit instead of the traditional garment that would be worn at the time. There was also a lot of blue incorporated into the costumes, including the Scottish flag which was on the shoulder of most people. This helped set the scene as well as showing the previous unity of the castle. It was very effective when the flagged was ripped off shoulders at the end before the castle was stormed showing the creation of a new Scotland where Macbeth did not exist. Lady Macbeth’s costume displayed her character very well by showing her power. This was done by having her hair in a tight bun and having her less feminine without a dress, which of course showed how she wanted to be more masculine. I loved how when she was in despair and going mad in the last scene, we saw her, her hair was down showing how she had lost her mental state. However, I didn’t think that her being pregnant added to her character, more detracted from it. I also didn’t think that it was necessary for Lady Macbeth to visit the Macduff castle.

The acting throughout the performance was incredible. Not only did it display the characters thoughts and feelings very well, but it also helped the audience understand the plot of the play despite the Shakespearean language. Accents used were perfect for the parts they were playing, with royalty being very well spoken. The witches were a big highlight for me as they worked as one so well. They displayed horrific scenes especially when biting off a finger and playing with it. They were also background characters in scenes which showed how they were always there. For example, one witch was actually Banquo’s son, Fleance. Macbeth showed extreme emotions to displays his mental state throughout. He moved very suddenly which helped show he was going mad. My favourite scene was Lady Macbeth going mad at the end, when she talked about getting the blood off her hands. I thought the actress portrayed this very well by acting almost ghost like. I didn’t like the singing and dancing at the end as I thought it detracted from the mood of the play. It would have been better in my opinion to just end in a simple bow.

I would thoroughly recommend this showing to anyone as I thought it was engaging for younger people, however still contained the shakespearen language and lines that were in the original play. The music set the scene so well especially with the brass instruments during the royal scenes. The acting was perfectly excicuted to help the audience understand the play. Finally the costumes were flawless and were exact to the characters played.

Header Image Credit: Shakespeares Globe

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Olivia Young

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