It starts Scottish enough, what with the fog billowing over the stage and all, but trust me, Teatro delle Ombre’s production is not your father’s Macbeth. Clan Macbeth is something you might dream if you spoke Italian. And a fascinating dream it would be! No witches stirring the pot, but a joker energizing the plot in always surprising ways from his first appearance. Like the fools in Twelfth Night and King Lear, Clan Macbeth’s joker’s witty fooling reveals key truths about the power players. A Macbeth who is so foolish that even his make up echoes the joker’s. A Lady Macbeth who will remind you of the sexiest cat you’ve ever known, using every twist of her sinuous body to get what she wants. And moments of hilarity that Shakespeare would envy. All under an eerie moon that resembles a drop of blood under a microscope.
While leaving the Jervey Theatre, I overheard a fellow festival-goer comment that this version of Macbeth was almost a version of Sampson and Delilah. And you know, he’s right. The addition of a joker; the dance-like movements that turn the crowns and throne into supporting characters; the odd moon – every element serves to magnify the romantic triangle of the Macbeths and power.
Teatro delle Ombre’s name, of course, derives from the ancient but ever-evolving theatrical art of shadow puppets. No shadow puppets in this production, but the shadows cast by Clan Macbeth will drive you to explore corners of Shakespeare’s venerable Macbeth in your own mind. Maybe even in your dreams.
That’s aactWORLDFEST for you – demonstrating every hour that what you thought you knew is far from all there is to know about this living, language-defying, heart-and soul-expanding art we call theatre.