Skip to main content

Filter's Macbeth

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
Three stars
When what looks like a bunch of black and grey clad technicians huddle
around a bank of home-made electronic instruments at the centre of an
otherwise bare stage to make assorted retro-futurist beeps and bloops
worthy of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the penny drops that sound and
fury will most likely be at the heart of the Filter company's
seventy-five minute truncation of Shakespeare's Scottish play.

As it is, this follow-up to the company's take on the far frothier
Twelfth Night, which toured to the Citizens last year, is an oddly
restrained affair, in which any eerieness in the collectively created
co-production with Bristol's Tobacco Factory comes from Tom Haines'
soundtrack. Here an ever rolling set of witches culled from the cast of
seven become the show's house band, ghosts in the machine both driving
and manipulating the action as they tune in on it like some diabolical
branch of the Stasi or GCHQ. Poppy Miller's quietly driven Lady Macbeth
listens in too, seeming to have bugged her would-be king in an unspoken
conspiracy fired by surveillance culture.

While Lady M draws cartoon hearts in red marker pen on Duncan's bare
torso, Ferdy Roberts' be-denimed Macbeth is privy to the play's
inevitable denouement when he's passed a dog-eared copy of Brodie's
Notes. He gets to snog both Lady M and Banquo playing Blind Man's Buff
at his coronation feast, though when Lady Macbeth fills a line of
fun-size goody bags with crisps, Coke and cheesy Wotsits, it more
resembles a hipsters tea party. All of which certainly signifies
something in this youthful reading of the play, even if its makers
don't always know what.


The Herald, January 22nd 2015


ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Honourable K.W. Harman: Ltd Ink Corporation

31 Bath Road, Leith Docks, March 17th-20th

In a monumental shipping container down by Leith Docks, a Sex Pistols tribute band is playing Anarchy in the U.K.. on a stage set up in the middle of the room. Either side, various constructions have been built in such a way so viewers can window shop as they promenade from one end of the room to the next, with the holy grail of a bar at either end.

Inbetween, there’s a confession booth and a mock-up of a private detective’s office with assorted documentation of real-life surveillance pinned to the walls. Two people seem to be having a conversation in public as if they're on a chat show. An assault course of smashed windows are perched on the floor like collateral damage of post-chucking out time target practice. A display of distinctively lettered signs originally created by a homeless man in search of a bed for the night are clumped together on placards that seem to be marking out territory or else finding comfort in being together. Opp…

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Scot:Lands 2017

Edinburgh's Hogmanay
Four stars

A sense of place is everything in Scot:Lands. Half the experience of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's now annual tour of the country's diverse array of cultures seen over nine bespoke stages in one global village is the physical journey itself. Scot:Lands too is about how that sense of place interacts with the people who are inspired inspired by that place.

So it was in Nether:Land, where you could see the day in at the Scottish Storytelling Centre with a mixed bag of traditional storytellers and contemporary performance poets such as Jenny Lindsay. The queues beside the Centre's cafe were further enlivened by the gentlest of ceilidhs was ushered in by Mairi Campbell and her band.

For Wig:Land, the grandiloquence of the little seen Signet Library in Parliament Square was transformed into a mini version of the Wigtown Book Festival. While upstairs provided a pop-up performance space where writers including Jessica Fox and Debi Gliori read eithe…