Friday, May 1, 2015

Blog Hijack: A Shakespearean Nightmare

In this edition of Blog Hijack, Wombat Theatre Company gives you an inside look at their newest production, Macbeth. 

A Shakespearean Nightmare: 
Wombat Theatre Company presents MACBETH

A play must be good (or at least leave one hell of an impression) if people are afraid to speak its name aloud for fear of invoking a centuries-old curse. Someone says “Macbeth” in a theatre offhand and suddenly, the lights won’t turn on or an actor gets locked out of the building just before act two begins. Centuries before there was Voldemort, William Shakespeare wrote his tale of the Scottish king’s ambitious rise to power and his bloody, paranoid reign. Macbeth’s name can make actors squirm and invokes horror and hatred within the world of the play. No matter how silly the superstition surrounding his name may be, it doesn’t go away quietly. Like Macbeth’s own inner demons, it nibbles at the back of the mind, just waiting for an opportunity to rise up and wreak a little havoc.

Our minds don’t perceive reality. Instead, we experience life through the filters of our fears and desires. Sometimes they are so passionate, they seem to come to life. Macbeth starts out as a respected soldier, loyal subject, friend, and husband until his hunger, wrath, and ambition explode to the forefront. From the moment Macbeth’s inner demons take hold, the audience experiences far more than just the events of the play. They follow his (often twisted) thought processes, his emotional reactions to the people around him, and the increasing power his madness holds over his grip on reality. Macbeth’s demons become literal creatures, infecting his thoughts and driving him towards ever-bloodier acts and nightmarish imaginings.
Just as we are familiar with our own superstitions and personal demons, we also know what nightmares feel like. You’re talking to someone but you know they aren’t the person they are supposed to be. Faces and voices are distorted, objects and landmarks are out of place, and your sense of danger is heightened. Sometimes you wake up in a cold sweat, convinced that something impossible was all-too real. Through Macbeth’s eyes, the audience experiences the terror and chaos that overpower his mind.

With this highly visual, visceral, and fast-paced production, Wombat Theatre Company cordially invites you into Macbeth’s ever-growing nightmare

Meet the Major Players:

Reality: Macbeth
What Macbeth Sees: Doctor Gogol, from Mad Love (1935)
Why: It has all the right ingredients: knives, hands, obsession, expressionism and, most importantly, Peter Lorre. "Each man kills the thing he loves."

Reality: Lady Macbeth
What Macbeth Sees: Jack from The Shining (1980)
Why: Because, like Lady Macbeth, he manipulates his family into doing what he needs to feel powerful. It consequently makes him hallucinate and ultimately brings about his own downfall.

Reality: The Witches
What Macbeth Sees: The "neighbors" from Rosemary's Baby (1968)
Why: They're everywhere and nowhere, they might be evil or they might just be in your head. The nosiest of neighbors…

Reality: Lennox and Ross
What Macbeth Sees: The Twins, from The Shining (1980)
Why: Because they like to watch from a distance… calculate... bide their time... before they come through to finish the job.

Reality: Macduff
What Macbeth Sees: Quint, from Jaws (1975)