Toil worth the trouble
OPULENCE and 18thcentury fashions are replaced by outlaws in leather in Stuart Lumsden’s version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which opens at Gold Coast Little Theatre on Saturday.
NIDA graduate Lumsden, who directs and stars in the local production, decided to add a relevant twist to the show’s appearance.
‘‘I wanted to come up with something original, so the stage and costumes hint that we are members of motorcycle gangs,’’ he says.
‘‘There isn’t a direct link to any organisation. We are dressed in leather with war colours, patches and badges to make it more modern.’’
The play stars Lumsden as Macbeth, Tara Page as Lady Macbeth, Jimmy Odenbreit as Banquo, James Anderson as Macduff, Patrick Monteath as Malcolm, Hugh Brophy as Duncan, Noel Thompson as Ross and Jack Harbour as Lennox. Kate McNair, Jodie Barnes and Sasha Cuha play the three witches, with John McWatters as Angus, Dean Mayer as Caitness, Joel Beskin as Porter, Joe Feeney as Old Siward, Ian Mckellar and Thomas Chivers as murderers, Dominic Bradley as Donalbain, Ben Oxley as Young Macduff.
Macbeth is renowned as one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most compelling tragedies.
Prompted by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne of Scotland for himself.
Stricken with guilt and paranoia, the lies and deceit slowly send Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness and death.
While Lumsden’s spin on the traditional costumes and setting of Macbeth gives the play a darker edge, he says it follows the same storyline that ‘‘deals with war and battles and fighting’’.
‘‘For some of the actors, this is their first Shakespeare and it is hard to get a grip on the language,’’ he says.
‘‘It’s not difficult once you understand it. You just
Macbeth. – Picture: KIT WISE have to get your mouth around saying things in a less modern way.’’
Macbeth is Lumsden’s first attempt at directing a Shakespearean play. He admits he does feel a ‘‘certain pressure’’ not to let anyone down.
‘‘I want the audience to enjoy themselves,’’ he says.
‘‘If you have seen it before, you should see this version because it’s a different cast and atmosphere that’s created. It’s relevant to a modern audience.
‘‘It is dark, exciting and fun. It has witchcraft and magic and big, big things. It can be done anywhere – in a small or big theatre.’’
Macbeth opens at Gold Coast Little Theatre, in Southport, on Saturday and plays Thursdays to Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm until May 11.
– ROSE SADLEIR
Witches (from left) Kate McNair, Sasha Cuha and Tess Burke from Gold Coast Little Theatre’s season of William Shakespeare’s