The Perse School

Sixth Form production of Macbeth – a review

21 Oct 2013

Audiences were treated to two sell-out performances of Shakespeare’s Macbeth last week, performed, directed and produced by our very own sixth form. Upper Sixth student – Daniel Adamson – shares his thoughts on the Perse’s treatment of Shakespeare’s infamous play.

“On 17th and 18th October, members of the Sixth Form transported audiences to the Scottish highlands in an innovative performance of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

In keeping with the National Theatre’s recent staging of Othello, the production’s modern setting gave the play a refreshingly contemporary twist. Moreover, the dominance of centre-stage by a strikingly oversized throne throughout the production allowed the audience to become fully immersed in Macbeth’s megalomaniacal pursuit of the Scottish monarchy.

The three witches (Lottie Howson-Smith, Harriet McLean and Sylvia de Luca) gave captivating performances, and the accentuation of their deranged cackles through the sound production team’s use of echo acted to truly unsettle the audience.

The witches’ expansive exploration of the stage area was absorbing to watch, and contributed to an admirably corporal depiction of “the weird sisters”.

Andrew Green, as Macbeth, captured the psychological deterioration of the “Thane of Glamis” with aplomb. As the play developed, Macbeth’s transition from the swagger of a victorious general to the contemplative uncertainty of a regicide was deftly reflected through Green’s measured delivery. Holly White (Lady Macbeth) produced a beguiling performance as the driving force behind the play’s “instrument of dark forces”, and convincingly mirrored the psychosomatic decay of her husband.

The quality of the supporting cast is indicative of the company’s depth of talent. Joe McNeil gave an authoritative performance as Banquo, whilst – upon the character’s learning of his family’s death – Will Taylor (Macduff) provided perhaps the most moving scene of the whole production. Emma Broadhurst fluently adapted to the role of ‘Duchess Malcolm’, and the final crowning of Malcolm as Queen provided a thought-provoking feminist spin to the production. Many of the cast must also be applauded for effortlessly undertaking multiple roles.

Congratulations go Charlotte Petter (student director) and the production team of Will Schofield, Arian Jamasb, Miss Bellamy and Mr Green for an accomplished performance of Shakespeare’s “darkest play”. It was also pleasing to see so many younger pupils amongst the sell-out audience; this inventive production of Macbeth will undoubtedly have inspired future generations of Perse thespians.”


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