"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Friday, May 24, 2013
MACBETH IN PITCH BLACK
IN PITCH BLACK
Contemporary Theatre at Brentwood Theatre
Scottish play for voices in the darkness ?
commendably innovative, if not always convincing, take on Macbeth
from London Contemporary, no strangers to radio. An hour and a
quarter, the gloom pierced only by the emergency exit lights, with
raw ambition and bloody murder going on in the darkness around us.
Williams' production has no shortage of inventive ideas – there are
smartphones and iPods in this medieval realm – the feast, and the
sleepwalk, both have faintly glowing red balloons, the dagger before
him is just a line of light. The porter is heard only on the
entry-phone; Birnam's moving grove is signalled over the battlefield
the shadowy forms become clearer; candles, a brazier, a cigarette
lighter draw the eye. The clearest face is Banquo's [Craig Morgan] as
he returns to haunt his murderer. The prophecies are projected onto
Macbeth's naked torso.
voice which consistently compels our attention is that of the Thane
himself, played with an impressive range of vocal expression by Noel
Harron. Shakespeare's text, considerably abridged, is embroidered by
bells, screams, cackles, thunder and ominous footsteps.
in Pitch Black is directed by Kevin Williams, composed by Philip
Ryder and designed by Jonathan Ashby-Rock.