ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
English department successfully retells Macbeth
Starring: Jason Rip, Jo Devereux
Directed by: Christopher Lockett
By Kelly Marcella
While this may be “the play that dare not speak its name,” the
cast and crew of Shakespeare’s cursed tragedy Macbeth were unafraid to
throw themselves completely into this all-around solid production.
The English department at Western and director Christopher Lockett combined
efforts to produce an impressive version of Macbeth. The play, for the most
part consisted of strong acting along with effective use of staging and props
to convincingly tell the story of the rise and fall of the murderous Scottish
Rip’s role as Macbeth did justice to the intricate nature of the character.
He was excellent in portraying the inconsistencies of Macbeth, wafting seamlessly
between his desires to become king and his guilt-ridden conscience, carrying
the entire production with the humanity and realism he infused into his role.
While Lady Macbeth is typically considered the embodiment of evil in the play,
Devereux’s performance of this driven wife was lacklustre. She took half
the performance to work into her role, not fully coming into character until
her last appearance on stage. Devereux was an effective foil to Rip’s
Macbeth, but at the same time, was unable to reveal Lady Macbeth’s potent
force in the unfolding of this tragedy.
The supporting cast consisted of a host of strong performances, including those
of Holm Bradwell as Macduff and Sean Mulligan as Banquo, who were more than
impressive in their respective roles. Also, Jordan Matteis’ Malcolm was
a seamless and natural performance and one of the most solid characters in
Finally, in their respective characters, Roberta Jones (Macduff’s son),
Deane Billington-Whiteley (Porter) and Steven Adam (Young Siward) were funny,
enticing and welcome additions to the production.
In terms of staging, Lockett used interesting methods of blocking for various
scenes, so as to appear tableau-like in presentation. The entire production
was incredibly well staged, making full use of the space available and allowing
effective interplay between the characters’ body language. The battle
scenes were intricate and well choreographed, adding to the overall visual
enticement of Lockett’s production.
The scenes with the witches and apparitions were effectively blocked to appear
visually intriguing, giving emphasis to this aspect of the production. Julie-Ann
Stodolny, Laura Higgs and Bethany Cairns were well cast in their roles as the
witches, menacingly chanting out omens to Macbeth.
Macbeth was a well-developed production showcasing talented acting, effective
use of minimal props and costumes, as well as strong direction. Overall, this
performance was successful in retelling the tragedy and espousing many of the
themes in Shakespeare’s classic play.