Young Critics Review 2019 – Macbeth (by Emily Robson)
Macbeth – The Malachites
The Guildhall, bearing flags on the ceiling, glistening stained-glass windows from the walls and a large fireplace was a perfect space for the performance of ‘Macbeth’. With its regal atmosphere, the venue took the audience back long ago when battles, superstitions and the constant yearning for power were rife.
The audience sat ‘in the round’ which gave the performance an intense but inclusive atmosphere where the actors would sometimes sit amongst the viewers. During the banquet scene Macbeth sat next to audience members on a high backed, decorated throne. Rolling his head from one side and then to another it felt as if as if he was directly sharing his troubles with them.
Of course, ‘Macbeth’ is well known for the three witches and they did not disappoint. Dressed in black, their humming became the play’s score and meant that the audience were constantly aware of their impact on events. These weird sisters were a constant presence on the stage and as arguments and tensions escalated and Macbeth’s feverish monologues became increasingly crazed, the witches drones would build the atmosphere further.
Byron Martin played the leading role and became increasingly fiery and outraged as his future became more unstable. Juxtaposing Macbeth’s murderous deeds, Benjamin Blyth’s Banquo conveyed a moral warmth. His reappearance as the ghost was chilling and Macbeth’s horrified reactions reflected his inner torture and turbulence very convincingly.
Lady Macbeth was played in a feisty style by Danielle LaRose. The addition of the harp which she played added a Gaelic and historic feel which contrasted perfectly with her guilt-racked scream during the sleepwalking scene later in the play.
With very little help from special effects, the Malachite Theatre Collective brought ‘Macbeth’ to life with superb acting and innovative supernatural scenes. Being ‘in the round ‘enabled the audience to share very directly with a powerful and memorable production.
By Emily Robson (age 15)