Wimbledon Studio Theatre
29 May - 2 June 2001
When I was formulating my ideas for how to stage the production, I found it very difficult to visualise the play beyond the swords and armour style seen so often. Then one evening inspiration struck through a conversation about Banquo's assassination! Without wanting to spoil the scene it convinced me to use the gangster/organised crime theme due to the possible visual imagery.
The hierarchy of a Mafia family sits very close to the hierarchy of the monarchy and army generals in the play with bosses, captains, foot soldiers and so on. With recent famous films such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels , Donnie Brasco , Goodfellas , the modern audience already possesses an understanding of each character's status in relation to each other with regard to the Mafia. This also helped myself and the cast to develop the relationships between the characters as they understood who were their rivals, who they liked, didn't like and who they had to like.
The consideration (as is unfortunately the often the case with Amateur Dramatics) was money. By setting the production in the modern day, we were able to save money on costumes and props, which is vital when you have a budget as limited as ours.
I have also kept the set to a minimum. This is because the play has a large number of short scenes. In order to allow the production maintain any continuity, I have used only two pieces of furniture - a rostrum, which allows for different levels to be used, and a bench. This has added flexibility in the staging of the scenes necessary for what is essentially theatre in the round.
For those of you in the audience currently studying the play, you will notice a large number of significant cuts to the script. Some of these were for dramatic purposes; for example the witches' spells do not ring true when they are supposed to be prostitutes. Other cuts were made due to their references e.g. to horses, Shakespearean jobs etc. Also many of the lines are describing what is happening on stage. Many of those lines were cut as the audience can see what is happening. For example, in the apparition scene, we now have various devices which allow a performer to 'disappear' on stage, which were not possible in Elizabethan Theatre.
All that's left for me to say is that I hope you find the production innovative, interesting and most importantly, entertaining!
|Lady Macbeth||~||Debbie Fowler|
|Servant / Guest||~||Alison Raffan|
|Lady Macduff||~||Sue Lovelace|
|Porter / Seyton||~||Dylan Geoghegan|
|Servant / Guest / Messenger||~||Val Foskett|
|Doctor / Guest||~||Christina McIntyre|
|Mentieth / Lord / Bouncer||~||Ian Ward|
|Murderer / Guest||~||Ruth Brooks|
|Murderer / Caithness||~||Rory Murnagh|
|Murderer / Young Siward||~||Steve Ogbonna|
|Macduff's Daughter||~||Lizzie Moss|
|Apparition voices||~||Christopher Moss
|Stage Manager||~||Ruth Brooks|
|Programme Design||~||Kristen Bowditch|
|Front of House||~||Penny Stone and Friends|
|apparitions.mp3||1.1Mbytes||The apparitions appear to Macbeth|
|gunfight.mp3||232Kbytes||The shootout between Banquo and Macbeth's henchmen|
|lady-macduff.mp3||182Kbytes||The assassination of Lady Macduff and her family - the effect they wouldn't let me use!|
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