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Saturday, June 22, 2024
The Observer

Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company masters 'Macbeth'

Claire Reid | The Observer
Claire Reid | The Observer

The Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company — after much anticipation from the audience and hard work from everyone involved in the production — brought to us a wonderful performance of "Macbeth."

From the excellently choregraphed fight scenes to the actors' clear understanding of the material, the play was an exceptional one to watch. Watching the actors bring the text to a whole new level was amazing, especially as a self-proclaimed Shakespeare fan. The costumes were true to the time period, and the props elevated the viewing experience by immersing us in the world.

However, as I was watching the play one thing came to mind: The beautiful simplicity of the production. The actors made you feel as though they were speaking directly to you in the audience. The iambic pentameter was exceptional — the play felt perfectly performed. There is something beautiful, I think, in this simplicity that is often not seen anymore. The director, Cate Cappelmann, understood that the material is perfect as it is; it doesn’t need to have gimmicks to keep people’s attention. That's because, in every scene, there was a moment of beauty, a moment that the audience felt as if the actors actually became their characters.

In a play like "Macbeth," the importance of showing the downfall of Macbeth is an important detail, and it was something at which Harrison Larkins did an exceptional job. The delivery of the soliloquies gave a feeling of pity, as you peer into these characters' deepest struggles.

These struggles escalate throughout the play. Lady Macbeth, for example, is the calm one in Act One as she struggles to come to terms with what she has done. The way Lady Macbeth was acted out by Christina Randazzo showed a deep understanding of the character and a beautiful portrayal of change. With the theme of change seeming to be the only thing that's constant throughout the story of "Macbeth" (except for bloodshed), the cast did an exceptional job wearing many different hats. To truly understand a stoic character is an admirable feat, but to be able to grasp a character at all times is true craft.

The play was a reflection of Shakespeare’s body of work as well as a reflection of the classic play. The crew also managed to shine throughout the night, creating light effects to perfectly match each scene. It was exceptional to see the stage go dark, only to be illuminated all over again. The aforementioned props also added to the scenes, especially in the fight between Macbeth and Macduff predicted by the witches. The witches — played by Mariko Jurcsak, Savannah Miracle and Nandini Sadagopan — were exceptional. Talk about a fitting production for the week after Halloween! The witches’ made spooky season all the more enjoyable, and the ominous effect of the voiceover bode well for a Scene writer who's already missing October days after it ended.

"Macbeth" is one of Shakespeare's best plays, with a wide range of his ideas performed. There was the tragedy of all of the death, especially King Duncan (played by Tony Perez), since you find yourself wishing that the event never happened due to the heartbreak of his children. The portrayal of Malcolm by John Donnarumma was deeply intriguing throughout the play, especially as he comes to terms with what was happened and opts for justice against the tyrannical Macbeth. Donnarumma showcases Malcolm’s true feelings very well, something that continues throughout the play.

Watching the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company perform the works of the Bard is something worth seeing, and watching the hard work of the student actors come to life is breathtaking. Because of the amazing work of everyone involved in the production, I choose to give my second-ever five shamrocks to this production!


Title: Macbeth

Director: Cate Cappelmann

Starring: Harrison Larkins as Macbeth, Christina Randazzo as Lady Macbeth

If you liked: "Hamlet," "Romeo and Juliet"

Shamrocks: 5 out of 5