Investment banker by day, gym junkie by night - but always a writer at heart.
Macbeth, the tragic hero, is relived through Hugo Weaving
A powerfully dark and gripping tale about hubris, greed, and the madness of guilt; Macbeth is one of William Shakespeare's classics and is brought to life in Sydney Theatre by a talented cast headed by the enthralling Hugo Weaving.
In hindsight, I regret not writing this article sooner as I was actually given pre-release tickets by my company (sponsoring the production) for the dress rehearsal. However, the production progressed with only one hiccup where Hugo Weaving had to ask for a prompt for one of his lines. Overall, as someone who rarely watches theatre but does love literature, I highly recommend this production. It is uniquely staged and features incredible acting talent.
Those familiar with Shakespeare's work will know Macbeth to be a classic tragedy in which Macbeth's ambition is spurred on by a prophecy from a group of witches, and then later fuelled by his even greedier wife, culminating in the murder of the King. Macbeth takes his throne, but begins to feel guilt and fear betrayal, eventually succumbing to madness.
Whilst I do not wish to spoil the story for first timers, I do highly recommend that viewers familiarise themselves with the synopsis as the old-English dialogue and the actors' pronunciation may cause some confusion during the play. Plus, Shakespeare is well known for his subtle innuendos and symbolism, which will not make sense to those not studied in his plays.
The production, under director Kip Williams, is conducted in a more intimate setting. The audience will enter through a side door, with the regular seats in Sydney Theatre as the backdrop. Temporary seating has been constructed on the stage itself, and the actors live out their play right in front of the audience (I think someone in the front row even got splashed a little by the fake blood). The close proximity of the actors brings out every little detail, and enhances the acting.
You will literally feel Hugo Weaving's presence as he begins to talk and move. He has an uncanny ability to capture your attention and never let it go as long as he is moving or talking. His charisma is truly brought to life and his emotion is palpable he will suck you into his character and take you through the psychological journey of Macbeth until you forget that you are watching a play and it is not real life. His performance is quite simply astounding.
The mis-en-scene is very sparse, with limited stage props and effects. Although this creates a slow start, it is no longer noticeable as the story progresses, and it creates more focus on the actors by removing unnecessary distractions. Of the effects used, smoke, strobe lights, and "rain" may affect the audience, and possibly fake blood or the witches' potion for those in the front row.
Macbeth runs for 2 hours with no intervals, and the seats are small (I'm quite broad so it was a bit cramped for me). I advise people to dress comfortably.
The performance is showing to the public from the 26 of July to the 27 of September 2014 and casual ticket prices range from $68 to $119. More information can be found on the website (link below).