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Macbeth - National Theatre Live

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by Helen Belli (subscribe)
I am now living in Kariong on the Central Coast
Published March 24th 2014
The play opens with a battle, rain drenching all of stage. The following action is played along a pathway constructed in an old church. The actors squelch in mud, lie in it, the costumes are soaked in it, and at times walk in bare feet in it. This is realism echoing the poverty of the Scottish court.

Why did Macbeth kill and kill?
The prophecy of the screeching hags.
The opportunity to kill the existing King, his friend. [How else did one become King of Scotland in those days?]
He has a wife whose evil ambition is as great as his.

Well, he does the deed and every thing goes horribly wrong. Lady Macbeth sleep walks, goes mad and kills herself, all the while overacting. Lots more fighting and lying in the mud. Macbeth who is racked with guilt and can't sleep, is finally killed and Scotland has a 'nice' new king.

Can the audience not be concerned for the mud soaked actors? I couldn't.

Macbeth is one of the last of Shakespeare's 41 plays and one of the most readable, but one of the hardest to perform. So we were left suitably appalled by the actions of the villains and their self destruction.

This production is memorable and worth seeing, if only for the staging and some, by no means all, of the acting.
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