Toil worth the trou­ble

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

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

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