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Macbeth by The Little Fish (SYTE) - Review

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by Haydn Radford (subscribe)
Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
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What's done, cannot be undone
Macbeth by The Little Fish
Macbeth and the three Witches.


Macbeth is the 6th Shakespeare production by The Little Fish, which is made up of the senior students of Southern Theatre Ensemble (SYTE). I was thrilled to watch this young cast of performers perform my favourite Shakespearean play. So often we see only older actors performing Shakespeare, but here a young cast bring energy, vitality and excitement into the characters they play.

Long before we had the recent fascination and devilment of the supernatural and witchcraft bombarded upon us in numerous books and movies such as Harry Potter, Twilight etc. Shakespeare gave us Macbeth. Shakespeare's three macabre witches ensure evil temptations result in the brutal bloody murder of King Duncan and raging battles follow dividing Scotland. And this all takes place on stage with actual sword fights and suspense that builds continually into an exciting climax.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
Raging battles on stage.


The performances by the young cast of Macbeth are marvellous as they explore the complex characters. Just as the main characters are superb in their roles the supporting cast are also terrific. Their gripping performances are achieved with the bare essential of props and without the aid of elaborate sets.

The many action scenes involving fighting with spears and swords are highly energetic and very convincing due to the coaching and the choreography by fight trainer Mark Holgate, who conducts a medieval fencing club. Mark Drury, who played Macduff also assisted with fight coaching. Another example of how these cast members make a virtue from necessity, as they demonstrate their readiness to take-on different roles.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
First Witch: Isabella Shaw


From the historical Celtic period the three young witches performed by Isabella Shaw, Phoebe Shaw and Bianca Payne are mysterious and calculating as they continually manipulate the destructive ambitions and fears of Macbeth. Some audience members may be accustomed to three bearded, wild, haggard, weird sisters seeming more like caricatures of the supernatural. IIsabella, Phoebe and Bianca are superb as three attractive, sensually dressed young witches wearing war paint and are equally as foreboding, dangerous and menacing as any witches before them.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
Harmony Kapsley as Fleance and Bess Simper-Brown as Banquo.


Roan Redelinghugs as Macbeth is engaging, powerful, brooding and intense. Phoebe Shaw is charismatic as Lady Macbeth, as she struggles to deal with her guilt and her nightmares. She is outstanding as she observes Macbeth's outrageous outbursts in the company of others, as she struggles to calm him, when only he can see Banquo's ghost.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
Lady Macbeth performed by Phoebe Shaw


Macbeth by The Little Fish
Phoebe Shaw as Lady Macbeth and Roan Redelinghuys as Macbeth.



Russell Slater performs as King Duncan and Siward, and as the play's director, has portrayed the witches as being from the historical Celtic period of the real Macbeth and Duncan, to the more mysterious, and earthy, Pictish/Caledonian period of legends.

Inspiration was taken from films such as King Arthur (2004) and Centurion (2010) for the costume and makeup design and character traits.The body paint designs are based on traditional Pictish (primitive Scotland) war paint, which added a new layer of aggression and intensity to each character. Slater has avoided the common Braveheart look wanting to achieve the right balance of something original and yet authentic.

Lucinda Cawrse, Production Assistant, experimented with a few cast members with body painting sessions with different patterns that were Viking, warrior and tribal, until they found the 'look' Slater was after. There are still elements of those patterns in the final designs.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
Bess Simper- Brown as Banquo and Leah Andesson as Lennox


There is a contrast with the witches body paint, as they are from another world. Their designs and colours are not traditional, and are more like birth markings than war paint. Valkyries inspired them, being creatures of a female form who chose who die and who live during a battle. (Reflecting their role in the play.) They're from Norse mythology origin, linking to early Vikings.

Macbeth by The Little Fish
Bianca Payne as Lady Macduff and Aarod Vawser as Ross.


The only thing disappointing about the evening was the poor attendance. This production deserves more public support. Sadly some Adelaide audiences need to get over their reluctance to drive for more than 10 – 20 minutes to events at locations such as Port Noarlunga. This is not the only recent program I have seen suffer from some Adelaidians not being prepared to venture down south to attend a superb theatrical or musical event.

Let's face it; there are no parking problems or outrageous car-park tax or nasty parking fine surprises in the Noarlunga area, such as you can encounter in the City of Adelaide. Hopefully, once the southern freeway upgrade is finally completed, more people will make the effort to attend more of the excellent entertainment events being offered on the Fluerieu.

The remaining performances of Macbeth can be seen at these locations:

Marion Cultural Centre:

Friday 13/6 8.00pm


Adults $15, Concession $15
Bookings 8375 6855 or boxoffice@marion.sa.gov.au

VIP GOLD CLASS SHAKESPEARE:
Kay Brothers Winery, McLaren Vale.


Saturday 28/6 6-6:30 meal for 7pm show

Meal & Performance package in Historic Barrel Hall
All Tickets $35 (includes rustic meal)
Tickets extremely limited - first-in, best-dressed as this evening will sell-out quick!
www.trybooking.com/EWDP


Schools Shows:

Thursday 12/6 10am & 1pm @ Marion Cultural Centre
Contact centre for bookings on 8375 6855 or email on
boxoffice@marion.sa.gov.au


Macbeth by The Little Fish

Macbeth by The Little Fish
All photographs courtesy of the performance group The Little Fish.
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Why? Great opportunity to see Shakespeare’s most powerful tragedy, directed by Russell Slater & performed by some of the best and most passionate young actors in the southern region.
When: 28/6/2014 at Kay Brothers. Winery, McLaren Vale, Booking www.trybooking.com/EWDP. Thursday 12/6/2014 10am & 1pm @ Marion Cultural Centre,
Phone: See review for contact details.
Where: Marion Cultural Centre & Kay Brothers Winery, McLaren Vale.
Cost: Marion Cultural Centre $15 Conc. $15. Kay Brothers. Winery:Tickets $35 (including rustic meal)
Your Comment
I like the idea of the tribal paint; it's not something you you usually see used, but is actually quite fitting for the setting.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12398) 1869 days ago
Great article. Just a comment re the attendance. I am a theatre lover who lives in Seaford, and didn't even know this performance was on. If people in the immediate area didn't know, then it is hard for anyone outside of the area to know. Perhaps the poor attendance is due to the lack of money able to be put towards promotion of the event. I would have loved to have gone.
by locki (score: 0|6) 1843 days ago
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