Friday, May 17, 2013

Macbeth


Sisyphus Productions presents Macbeth at this years Fringe Festival. This stripped version of Shakespeare’s classic play of corrupting ambition and madness remains faithful to the text while incorporating grotesquely seductive movement and macabre visuals. The show explores the role of fate as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth yield to the seductive prophecies of the trio of witches and embark down a long road on which “blood will have blood.”

I went to a final dress rehearsal at Edgewater High School just a few days before the play hits the stage in the Shakespeare Theater. I bumped into actress Sarah Lockard in the Shakes and mentioned that I would be sketching Mac... She stopped me and said I couldn't utter the title in the theater. You see, the play is cursed and uttering its name will bring down the fortunes of any theater company. Paul Horgan explained at the Fringe Pub Crawl that theater companies that were struggling would stage Macbeth and then falter. It was a self fulfilling prophesy.

Michelle Kraus does an astonishing job as Macbeth's wife. She seduces Macbeth, played by Jason Skinner, into committing murder to make his way to the thrown. He is filled with self doubt and loathing but her pure unfaltering lustful ambition sways him to the deed.  As he laments the bloody dagger, she takes charge snatching the dagger from him and washes it clean. The simple set of pillars and blocks gradually tumbles into ruins as the play progresses. Later Lady Macbeth is plunged into darkness and insanity trying to rub the invisible blood from her hands. Michelle looked off stage in my direction. Her eyes blazed with horror. Although the room was bathed in florescent light, her intensity was frightening.

Holly Harris had three actors cloaked in a stretchy material and their graceful gestures became strange featureless abstractions. Their writhing fluid movements were creepy and effective. Jimmy Moore who directed the play along with Michelle confided that the Fringe play he worked on last year wasn't very good. However he has every reason to be proud of this ambitious production. This huge cast of at least 15 actors gives the play a dark and epic feel. Although the blood red walls of the auditorium seemed appropriate for the production, I need to see the show again on the dark moody Fringe stage complete with lighting effects. I have no doubt this production will shine bright. You should see this hour and a half production, just don't utter the title in any theaters halls. If you order tickets inside the theater, refer to it as "The Scottish Play". "What's done can not be undone."

What: Macbeth
When:
Saturday May 18th at 9:00PM
Tuesday May 21st at 10:00PM
Saturday May 25th at 7:00PM
Sunday May 26th at 1:45PM
Where: Gold Venue in Theater Downtown, 2113 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, FL
Tickets: $10 plus a Fringe Button

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