The Tragedy of Macbeth
We can't thank you and the cast enough for the incredible performance today. I had a school bus and tickets reserved for 9 students, but only one student attended the performance today.
The young man who attended today's show with me had NEVER been to a live production. He literally sat on the edge of his seat. He laughed. He jumped at loud noises. He sighed when appalling murders happened, and he laughed at the Porter.
My other antendee was our school bus driver, Joyce. She had NEVER been to a live play before and was so excited. At intermission, she asked me a ton of questions, then after the show, she asked if she could see it again...and where would she get tickets, etc. She loved it! "I'm researchin' that Shakespeare guy. He's really good!"
I asked them what their favorite parts were:
The witches - "I like how they moved."
Lady MacBeth - "I like how she loved her husband." "I like how she sleep-walked. That scene was really good." "I was worried she would get burned by the candle."
The dinner scene - "I liked how Banquo acted. It felt like a real ghost when she whooshed up the steps."
Sword fight - "That was intense. Were those real swords?"
MacBeth - "How did he learn all of those lines? How did he know when to enter and exit the stage, I mean, it was like he was really him--ya know? Like he seemed like the Dude."
"Did you see how the actors changed their hair when they changed characters? That was a good idea."
"I just loved the whole thing. I'm really glad I went."
"You made my day! I can't believe I got to see a real Shakespeare play. And I liked it. A lot."
Shakespeare was a common man who wrote for common people. The Tragedy of Macbeth was the Elizabethan version of Game of Thrones.
Ever felt like you just didn’t ‘get’ Shakespeare, or, even worse, that you couldn’t understand it? Well, that’s not uncommon, it’s not your fault, and ‘yes’ you can. Because…
Shakespeare was never meant to be read.
Reading a Shakespeare play and expecting to get Shakespeare is like looking at sheet music and trying to figure out if the song is pretty, or looking at a blueprint and trying to understand if the building will be safe. A Shakespeare play script isn’t a play, it’s the blueprint for a play. The play only exists when audiences hear it in performance, just like a symphony. This is the only way that Shakespeare’s work was ever meant to be experienced.
And that being the case, I am going to ask a favour of you...
If you are not a fan of Shakespeare, give us half an hour. That’s all. Give us thirty minutes of your undivided attention right from the top of the show. Give us half an hour and see if we can’t get you excited by this brutal, suspenseful, doom-ridden tragedy. Give us half an hour…and you might just find yourself enjoying ol’ Bill.
If you are already a fan of Shakespeare, then buckle up, you’re in for a ride.
Please know that if you do enjoy the show, the credit for that belongs to you, and every person whose name appears in your program. If anything disagrees with you tonight, those mistakes are entirely mine.
Thank you for coming to the Theatre!
If you’d like to hear a radio interview that discusses the directorial framework of the production and the play itself, please click here.