Macbeth is an age-old tale of love, death, and betrayal, one that has held up wonderfully for over 400 years. But, like most of Shakespeare's work, it is hard to read and even harder to understand. In this day and age where facebook, television, and movies reign supreme, it's very hard for old Willy to get a word in, unless it's under some sort of curriculum. Luckily, a bunch of wonderful ladies, who study the mysterious art of performance, have decided to tackle that very issue and bring Shakespeare's play into the modern, and in the process make it easier for uncultured saps, such as I, to understand it.
The pastor of a small church wants very much to enter his choir into a prestigious competition; however, he believes that they will stand a much better chance if they enter the competition through the means of an outreach group, a group of wayward girls who will perform a side drama element to his choir's music. The only problem is, the girls in the outreach program don't want a bar of it; none of them want to be there, let alone work together to perform a play. The girls spend a lot of time together and slowly bond, by picking on the super exuberant, super Christian girl and by pulling attention to the awkwardness of the pastor's sister, who looks after the outreach group. The girls find different things to connect with in the material they perform and as we follow them we see that they are not just an eclectic mix of vandals, alleged drug-users, vagrants, and girls with rage-blackouts; they are much more than that. These inner revelations inspire them to go forth with the play, win or lose.
The director, Rena Clark, has done a wonderful job assembling a large and talented cast and bringing the best out of them. Samantha Lan is hilarious as Mertyl, the overly exuberant Christian youth, Victoria Wimsett is great as Fiona, the promiscuous young lady with anger problems and Amelia Batch is right on the money as the tom boy Maxine, whose favourite pastime is tagging trains with her spray can.
The play is delightfully long at just over two hours, with a twenty minute intermission. It's funny, sad, and does make you think about several contemporary issues in society, but at the end of the day it is a bit of light-hearted fun.
Macbeth For Wayward Girls is showing at the Hamilton Town Hall. There are two performances left, one on Friday 26th August and the other on Saturday 27th August; both performances start at 7.30 pm. Logon to Front Row Theatre Inc to secure your ticket or buy them at the door. Tickets are $13 for students and concession and $18 for adults.