Murderous plots and unbridled ambition abound in Urban Myth Theatre Company’s thrilling rendition of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.
In medieval Scotland a weary Macbeth (Edwin Kemp-Attrill) and fellow soldier Banquo (Josh Mensch) are returning home from battle when they cross paths with three mysterious women who reveal themselves to be witches. These women greet Macbeth as “Thane of Glamis” and prophesise that he will go on to become first the Thane of Cawdor and finally, the king. And so Macbeth’s ascension to the throne and murderous journey into madness begins.
Director Nick Garsden has stayed true to the play’s original format and the cast deliver their lines in the eloquent language of old. The small cast handle their multiple roles well and deliver their lines with a power and conviction that is to be admired. Kemp-Attrill delivers a strong performance as Macbeth and as the play continues the audience watch him evolve from a mild mannered man to a paranoid ruler capable of great violence.
Alex Petkova shines as Lady Macbeth, the great woman behind the weak man and her unwavering ambition and cunningly delivered words allow her to manoeuvre Macbeth like a puppet on a string. Yet there is a gentle side to this forceful woman and as her husband’s delusions grow we see her struggle to come to terms with the events she has witnessed with Petkova handling the emotional demands of her character with ease. She also delivers an entertaining performance as one of the three witches. Nic Cutts superbly manages his dual roles as King Duncan and Macduff while Emma Kew and Lucca Boyce complete the trio of witches.
The play’s sparse, unchanging stage and minimal props forces the audience to focus solely on the vocal tones and body language of the actors and I was enthralled by their energy and enthusiasm; while a surprising touch of comedy lightens the play’s sombre mood. A thrilling story of power and greed; Macbeth is sure to delight.
Macbeth is on until August 17 at the Goodwood Institute. Tickets here.
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