Better than an S&M party

Xpress Magazine June 2004



Macbeth is a menage of blood and lust--GINGER O'NEILL reviews Macbeth

Another Shakespeare--yawn--well this reviewer was prepared to take a power-nap and wake up in time for drinks at interval. However this latest offering from The Large Group pleasantly surprised me. Michael Hurst is the consummate performer and he can actually act. Of late I have been disappointed attending a theatrical performance that isn't laced with multi-media or sweetened by the use of some other device (anything will do)--that lets me forget there is an actor on stage. This production of Macbeth is a real actors' show--characters are exiting and entrancing with great flair, everybody has a super-important mission and the energy is electric. The cast of Macbeth pull this off exceptionally well. The style is reminiscent of a gothic film--the stage is filled with smoke, dark colours, background shadows and noir-like lighting. The supernatural features heavily in this action-packed story of one man's rise to success and faster descent into madness. The staging is amazing thanks to the mastery of set designer John Verryt.

Huge, gothic ranch sliders, ramps and pits add to the darkness of this soured fairytale which charges from scene to scene to its bloodied and exciting conclusion. The director (Michael Hurst) has heavily styled this production and has made some choices which although are pleasing to the senses sometimes neglect to get the story points clearly across to the audience. However in the end I prefer this egomaniacal vampire-like treatment of a play I have seen many times. I was totally impressed by the ensemble, the artistry and the elegant wickedness of this production.

It's a styley little number that is truly entertaining and a good night out--in the bloodiest, darkest and most sinful way possible. A return to what actors and great stylists can do well. I would definitely check it out.

Macbeth plays at The Maidment Theatre until June 26.

©Copyright 2004, Xpress


Home  Recent Projects Future Projects