Mindblown by Macbeth

Wonderful evening (even if a bit chilly) watching our pupil's production of Macbeth for its first night yesterday.

Mr Haydon was terrific as Macbeth, and Maggie Boyles sparkled as Lady Macbeth. There was a real tenderness between them, which is the only way one can understand how Macbeth follows her counsels so readily and then, even when he sees that all is lost, does not blame her for a minute. Mr Haydon's 'stiff upper lip' suited Macbeth very well, I thought.

Duncan (Dominic O'Leary) was majestic. Macduff (Patrick Adams) was extremely powerful and mysterious. His rage seemed genuine. The lead assassin (Edmond de Poulpiquet) was impressive and looked the part (he and fellow killer Baudouin de Rambures had recently had their heads shaved for that extra menacing look !)

The 'toil and trouble' cauldron scene always struck me as being pseudo-comical, although many directors try to make it very serious. Our witches went for the light relief element, whilst somehow also keeping up the sense of supernatural tension. They had real soap bubbles coming out of the cauldron ,and a rather comic frog (a cuddly toy) was also added to the stew ... all three witches were excellent and delivered their lines beautifully and with a real sense of drama and rhythm.

Nathan Hopkin was great as the porter. But he had been told to leave out the vulgar gestures that most directors allow these days. The result was that the humour of this bawdy secene was lost on our 50% Francophone audience. Still, Nathan was impressive and well cast.

A theatrical secret: tomato puree is better than ketchup for the bloody scenes ...

I'll comment some more when I've seen the second night.


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