Macbeth | Twelve Angry
From the first time I heard the idea of making Lady Macbeth one of the weird sisters, I’ve desperately wanted to see it played out but was unsure of how it was to be staged. Twelve Angry’s clever, visceral and chillingly human production takes the idea to its heights, refocusing the play not just around Lady Macbeth but around the wives of Banquo and Macduff struggling to maintain order as their plans spiral out of their control and into chaos. To give specific areas of the production their deserved praise would result in spoiling the production itself, which is incredible in a performance that uses a majority of a four hundred year old text.
Small changes in casting ripple to alter the meaning and heighten the potency of the play. By stripping back the magic of prophecy and ghosts to innovative schemes and uncontrolled paranoia, human nature itself becomes the centre of the tragedy. The second weird sisters scene in particular is ingeniously innovative, highlighting their clever schemes and portraying the gut-wrenching rage and grief between the three women. A majority of the soliloquys now also take place as one sided conversations, emphising various relationships and often offering new spins in familiar scenes. Most notable is Macbeth’s dagger soliloquy, shifting from a playful conversation with a child to a moment of solitude that is unsettling in its rarity, highlighting his descent into paranoia.
Small changes in casting ripple to alter the meaning and heighten the potency of the play.
The alter at the foot of the stage cleverly transforms throughout the plot, with its most haunting incarnation being its first: a tiny coffin adorned with flowers. While Lady Macbeth’s initial scenes with the mirrored backdrop lose some potency due to restricted view from the audience, they allow for some impressive makeup transitions to occur onstage. The late change in venue to a cabaret-style seating arrangement works from the moment the audience is lead in to the haunting melody that underscores the production. The actors maintain a legendary amount of focus throughout it, and at times separating the action across the room effectively engulfed the audience in the characters’ confusion and horror.
With its final two shows sold out, their Facebook and tumblr are well worth monitoring for openings in this potent and powerful production!