6th years had the pleasure of a trip into Smock Alley Theatre to see ‘Macbeth’ on 23rd October. The performance was put on by the Gaiety School of Acting and was an enjoyable and education experience.
The first thing to strike us, however, was an apparent return of the ‘curse’ of the Scottish play. Unfortunately, the actor due to play the title role had injured himself and so an understudy had to step in. This actor had his script in hand for the performance but this was soon forgotten by the audience who were immersed in the drama that unfolded before their eyes.
A central element to this production was the addition of music. A diverse range of instruments were used – drums, a violin, an accordian, an electric guitar and even a saw! The music heightened the tension, reflected the pace of different parts of the play and created an eerie atmosphere. Also notable were the times when the music stopped. Some moments of extreme emotion, such as the news that Macduff’s wife and children had been executed and Macbeth’s ‘Out, out brief candle’ speech, were notable for the absence of music.
Another interesting point to note was Martin Maguire’s casting of the same actor to play Lady Macbeth as one of the witches – we felt that this was intentional and highly effective in linking Lady Macbeth with supernatural forces.
The play itself was followed by a workshop where students had the opportunity to give their opinions on the play and to ask questions of some of the actors. Our students did us proud with some excellent contributions.
The day was a wholly enjoyable experience.