Before coming into UBC Theatre’s performance of Macbeth, I was quite curious of how the production would compare with my preconceived understanding of the story. From my experience viewing Shakespeare plays by various theatre troupes, modern interpretations have usually resonated with me more than traditional ones have. Although UBC Theatre’s portrayal of the story was traditional in nature, it pleasantly surprised me with it’s skillfully staged and accurate depictions of this bloody tale.
Sitting in the audience, I felt an odd mix of pity and anger for the character, while lady Macbeth, played by Christine Bortolin, tried to wash the blood from her hands and desperately cried “out spot, out”. Meanwhile, human vulnerability to power and our own mind is clearly illustrated through her husband’s character of Macbeth, played by Alexander Keurvorst.
A twist on the relationship between the witches and Macbeth kept me on my toes until the end of the play, as they appeared in the form of his conflicting conscience. The live bagpipe music throughout the play completely submerged the audience into the story and helped them connect with the characters’ states. The director, Patrick New, made each character in the play memorable, regardless of the role’s scope, making them an invaluable part of the play.
It is fair to say that the story’s most important lessons were inexplicitly yet vividly conveyed to the audience through cleaver twists, scene selection and the wonderful acting of the UBC Theatre troupe. I salute the actors in succeeding to evoke contradicting emotions in the audience that Shakespeare perhaps intended the viewers to feel.
The play is on from now until March 31st at the Frederic Wood Theatre. You can purchase your tickets here.