William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is one of my favourite plays and probably is in fact one of the first plays I ever studied. Well, that and Romeo and Juliet. Personally, I’m drawn to Shakespeare’s darker plays, ones that question religion, government and focus on corruption, so for example, Titus Andronicus, Hamlet, Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice. But Macbeth has always been one close to my heart. The magic and strangeness of it is something that I was drawn to. The witches were odd and powerful; their songs are forever imprinted in my mind, while Macbeth’s evilness and Lady Macbeth’s insanity are forces that will always prompt great discussions.
Recently, I saw a production of Macbeth at The Globe Theatre and though the adaptation has had mixed reviews, citing differences from the original plot, amongst other things, I thoroughly enjoyed watching it. Seeing plays performed brings the original story to life, now they’re not just characters in a book, but they are real, live and warm blooded beings up on that stage, performing their hearts out.
That’s what I love about The Globe. I am never disappointed whenever I visit. As an English Literature student that is something I treasure, being able to watch one of Shakespeare’s plays, at his theatre (though, the original one was burnt down) it still holds a connection, a link, a voice that harks back to the playwright. And Macbeth, known as the Scottish Play, due to superstitious theories that the play itself was cursed, came to life only a mere few steps from my seat.
Though there were small things that prompted confusion or distance from the original text itself (for example, it is known that Lady Macbeth is childless and yet, in this production she has a child with Macbeth), I found that the actors themselves were amazing. I loved that there was a diversity of people – in race and gender, more female characters in military roles and in this production, it was clear that racial diversity was something important. In that way, the production itself, had a bit of an update from its original creation.
By far, my favourite characters were the witches. They were mysterious and dark, elegant in a way that I hadn’t seen before and their songs were enchanting – as they are supposed to be. The music production of this play was one of the best I’ve heard, extremely original and odd; it was a treat for the ears when one moment it was a beautiful melody, tainted with darkness, only to end in a more violent, malicious tune – hinting at danger.
Finally, I’ll leave you with one of their lines – be careful, it would not be wise to recite these lines out loud. After all, only bad things come from those delving in dark magic – just look at what happened to Macbeth.
“Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble…”