Saturday, April 11, 2009
One of the challenges of Macbeth is that we all know the text. Not by heart but, thanks to the hard work of generations of English teachers, just about anyone who is sitting in the theatre when the lights go down will have the elements of the plot.
That's good, and familiar, and comforting. The downside of that familiarity is that the actors don't fear losing us. They have a text to deliver, and they make sure that they hit all of the words and action. Like slalom skiing. You make all the curves and hit all of the gates, and you make it to the finish line still on your feet.
Texas State's production of Macbeth this past week was vigorous, atmospheric and fun to watch. Preliminary music was eerie and appropriate, and stage movement was excellent.
Director Charles Ney gave us a surprise in the opening scene. Yelling, battling warriors rush onto the stage and have it out with much clashing and dying. When the dead are left and the quick are fled, the witches rise from among the corpses. As they chant, they dispose of the slaughtered, dumping them down a trapdoor at center stage. After the Weird Sisters disappear, one prostrate figure remains, and he is revealed to be the "bloody sergeant" who then unfolds to newly arrived King Duncan the tale of the battle.
Read More at AustinLiveTheatre.com. . . .