03 September 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes

The other night I took a trek over to Lyttelton for a performance of Macbeth. Since the usual venue still needed repairs after the earthquake, the performers had found an alternative amongst the rubble of some buildings that had been torn down. A covered seating area had been set up for the audience but the rest of the set was open to the elements and included the remains of a wall, pools of dirty water, and crumbling foundations.

We settled in with some chocolate brownie, mulled wine and hot chocolate to keep the cold at bay, but I soon forgot about it as the show started with a pretty brutal fight scene and carried on the intensity.
When shall we three meet again in thunder, lightning, or in rain? When the hurlyburly 's done, When the battle 's lost and won.
- Act I, Scene I 
I'd been looking forward to seeing the three witches (which were the only part I could really remember from studying Macbeth at school) and was impressed when one of them did some fire eating!

One of the highlights was the ghost of Banquo, which was so well done. The character was murdered in one of the pools of muddy water which were part of the set, and was shielded from view by some concrete foundations. I'd been keeping an eye out and was starting to get a little worried about the actor who was still lying in the water a few minutes later, and it was a cold night! But it made the appearance of Banquo's ghost very dramatic when he finally emerged from the pool covered with filthy water to stalk Macbeth.
Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.
- Act V, Scene V
I've only been to a couple of Shakespeare performances before, but both of them have been so good that I can't wait until the next one!