Home

Monday, 24 October 2016 17:13

The Modern Tragedy of Macbeth

"Out damned spot out..." This line tragically uttered by Lady Macbeth is probably one of the more memorable lines in Shakespeare's Macbeth and it also was one of the more memorable moments in Theatre Y's production now playing at the Chopin Theatre.
 
The role of Lady Macbeth, played by Katie Stimpson, really comes to life as she deftly portrays the deceptive, ambitious and manipulative wife who urges her husband Macbeth (played by the equally talented Brendan Mulhern) to commit the treasonous act of murdering the King of Scotland in order to fulfill a prophecy, told to them by a trio of witches, that one day Macbeth would be king.
 
But the weight of her duplicity plagues her with misery as she has bouts of sleepwalking and envisions blood stains on her own hands: "Out damned spot out..." Stimpson plays the role with such an ethereal quality that the vacillation between the blood thirst of Lady Macbeth's ambitions from the play's opening to the tortured consequences of those actions has a lot of resonance.
 
Also, Mulhern's physical approach and embodiment of the role shows the depth of Macbeth's paranoia and guilt over his own actions and weakness. The scene where Macbeth imagines seeing the bloody dagger hanging in the air, though invisible to the audience, is a perfect example of the type of energy he brings the role. Even without the use of a prop, it is quite visual in its depth and impact.
 
This production of Macbeth, part of the year-long Chicago Shakespeare 400 International Arts Festival, was directed by French actor Georges Bigot. He has performed a number of classic roles from Greek tragedies to Shakespearean plays including Twelfth Night and Henry IV as well as directed about a half dozen plays including Chekhov's "The Seagull"  and a Khmer adaptation of Norodom Sihanouk.
 
Bigot provides a very interesting interpretation of the classic starting with a dark and foreboding set. Props are sparse and much of the action and energy are purveyed through the physicality of the actors. An improvised "orchestra pit" sits over to the side providing musical interludes both live and recorded.
 
The costume design by Branimira Ivanova is an interesting mix from the camouflage military uniforms worn by the soldiers in the opening scenes to the modern dress clothes at the party at Macbeth's castle as well as the somewhat Hippies style of the three witches.
 
A fascinating tidbit about this play is that it was rehearsed for nearly a year and the brand new Theatre Y Ensemble was birthed out of the process.
 
"This production of Macbeth is the fruit of a laboratory that began a year ago and which is still ongoing," Bigot says in his director's note. "I wanted to impart the spirit of an ensemble that would 'do theatre in the Public Service,' a spirit I first encountered at the Theatre du Soleil in Paris, but which I recognized instantly in the artists I was able to gather at Theatre Y."
 
The chemistry of the cast was certainly a plus in pulling off some of the most complex scenes including the ending fight scene between Macbeth and Macduff.
 
 
Recommended
 
Macbeth runs through Dec. 4 at the Chopin Theatre. Tickets are available at www.chopintheatre.com.
Published in Theatre in Review

Cirque du Soleil's "LUZIA" is playful, colorful and romantic

23 July 2017 in Theatre in Review

In the Chicago premiere of Cirque du Soleil’s 38th original production, LUZIA (a combination of two Spanish words, luz (light)…

Route 66 Theatre's "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Sloan Kettering Memorial Cancer Center of New York City" Begins August 24th

23 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Route 66 Theatre Company is pleased to conclude its ninth season with the Chicago premiere of Halley Feiffer’s dark comedy …

First Floor Theater Announces 2017/18 Season

23 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

First Floor Theater is proud to announce their 2017/18 season, featuring one world premiere and two Chicago premieres. Their sixth…

Black Button Eyes Presents "Shockheaded Peter" - August 11 - September 16, 2017 at The Athenaeum Theatre - Chicago Storefront Premiere!

23 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Black Button Eyes Productions is pleased to present the Chicago storefront premiere of SHOCKHEADED PETER, the silly and sinister musical…

Linda Fortunato Announces 2018 Season at the Theatre in the Center in Munster

23 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Linda Fortunato, Artistic Director of Theatre at the Center (TATC), Northwest Indiana’s only professional theater company, has announced the mainstage…

The Femmes of Rock Leave Fans at The Arcada Theater with a show to remember

22 July 2017 in In Concert

A rainy summer night and this party was a guarantee to go on no matter what. The indoor concert venue…

Great balls of fire! Million Dollar Quartet opens Paramount Theatre's 17-18 season, Sept. 13-Oct. 29, 2017

21 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Paramount Theatre is excited to tune up for its rollicking 2017-18 Broadway Series opener Million Dollar Quartet, the wildly popular…

The Tin Woman, A Moving Play About the Value of Having a Heart

20 July 2017 in Theatre in Review

Playwright Sean Grennan’s latest work is based on a true story about a successful heart transplant that occurs between two…

Jazz Guru Barry Harris Inspires at the Jazz Institute of Chicago

20 July 2017 in BCS Spotlight

Barry Harris is not exactly a household name unless you are a Jazz musician. He is a gifted piano player…

First Folio's "As You Like It" is outdoor theatre at its best

18 July 2017 in Theatre in Review

Gentle breezes, crickets chirping (or whatever that sound is they make), and comfortably warm summer nights. We're here. And knowing…

Kokandy Productions' LITTLE FISH - Through August 20, 2017 at Theater Wit - Chicago Premiere!

13 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Kokandy Productions is pleased to present the Chicago premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's LITTLE FISH, directed by Producing Artistic Director …

Cirque du Soleil presents new CRYSTAL, breakthrough ice experience, Nov. 16-19

13 July 2017 in Upcoming Theatre

Cirque du Soleil is thrilled to venture into uncharted territory with its brand new creation, Cirque du Soleil Crystal, exploring…

 

 

10 Years! Fave Issue Covers

Register

Latest Articles

Guests Online

We have 81 guests and no members online

Buzz Chicago on Facebook Buzz Chicago on Twitter