James Mcavoy - Macbeth At Trafalgar Studios
Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:24 PM
Thanks for pointing that out, it's an interesting read.
Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:27 PM
Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:40 PM
Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:03 PM
Posted 28 February 2013 - 06:38 PM
It's still three hours though the programme promises two and a half. But it didn't feel long.
McAvoy is sensationally good. Who would have thought he could be such a PHYSICAL actor?
What's the problem people had with Claire Foy? Too passive? Not today. Loved her. The lack of warmth between her and her hubby was, I think, due to Jamie Lloyd's take on their marriage, explained in a programme note. As he sees it they have recently lost a child and this has put a chill on passion.
Lady Macduff's prolonged death scene was an echo of The Duchess of Malfi's murder. Jamie Lloyd apparently has a thing for strangulation.
After McAvoy and Foy my favourite actor was Mark Quartley who made more of Malcolm than I thought was there.
Jamie Lloyd's production was amazing in every detail. Why are people so down on him?
The stage seats are great except if you're at the end of a row when they become Obstructed View.
Five pounds for a programme! Maybe that's what they really mean by Trafalgar Transformed.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:25 AM
Most of what I'd say has already been said - very gory, very intense, loooots of strobe lighting, great performances. As for Claire Foy, she wasn't my top favourite but I thought she held her own. One of the moments that will stay with me is when she leaned across a table to talk to her husband and in doing so put her hands straight down in the bloody slick that was currently on top of it. (In universe the blood wasn't real - part of a vision - but in the theatre it definitely was.) Eerie.
McAvoy does a really good job, I thought, although from Row M he wasn't completely recognisable, lol. But I've always thought of him as littler, somehow? And yet he inhabits that "bloody, physical warrior king" space entirely believably. If he didn't pull it off the play wouldn't work, but he does and it does.
The real standout performance for me was Jamie Ballard as Macduff - I see someone said he was "shouty" and maybe he was from close up but from Row M he was bang on perfect. Two women in the front row stage seats were surreptitiously wiping away tears.
Speaking of stage seats, they definitely get in on the action! I felt bad for one girl, she was just sitting there and then suddenly two fighting actors nearly toppled right into her lap. The look of terrified horror on her face made half the audience giggle (which kind of didn't work in the scene, oops). And then there was Lady Macduff's prolonged strangulation scene - with a lady in the front row contemplatively sipping away at her wine the entire gory time.
And yeah, five pounds for a programme. Highest I've seen in a while. It's got little blurbs about climate change turning Scotland into a wasteland and how art students and shoemakers can turn into mass-murdering dictators? Dunno, but it's not really worth 5 quid except for the collecting factor. Although at least one of the cast listed having received a WOS award.
Anyway, this isn't my favourite of Shakespeare's plays (and I'm not usually a big fan of gore) but I thought they did a great job with it. The porter scene didn't really work for me, but apart from that I liked their choices and didn't really notice any bad casting/acting.
Oh, one quick question - was what sounded like the fire alarm going off in the foyer for like 15 minutes before the show part of the experience? I.e., does it always do that, presumably to put you in the mood for apocalyptic scenes to come? Or was it just tonight?
Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:40 AM
It was a fire drill - someone forgot to say "We're on with The Scottish Play in five..." and the stage erupted in flames. That's not actually what happened (probably). I assume, since it took us an extra ten minutes to get into the building, it was a fire drill, but I was a bit late and have never been gladder for a fire alarm.
Actually, on the note of coughing, given how tempremental most people's throats are at the best of times, let alone in a particularly virus-y February, I thought opening with smoke and incense was perhaps a bad idea.
Anywho, I think I'll post more tomorrow as my thoughts are more with my throat than with the theatre, but I felt a little more hohum about bits of this than most people. There was a lot of very good stuff (McAvoy was ace, Ballard, some nice touches) but a lot that to me didn't work and overall I rather enjoyed it but bits - Lady Macbeth and a couple of what I thought were gimmicks (for example the witches and, actually, the overall setting) - didn't work. Mostly positive though, but some fairly big quantifiers which left me thinking this was ever so slightly more tepid than most people think it. I also had perhaps unfair problems, in row M, with the onstage seats.
Theatrical highlight of the year though - I go to my friends in the back row and say "Not too keen on Lady Macbeth, she felt a bit shouty to me, though that might just be me." As I finish to draw breath, someone down the row said "She was a bit shouty."
Posted 01 March 2013 - 01:57 AM
I also like your version of what happened with the fire drill. I'm surprised they didn't make us all leave the foyer, though, if it was an actual drill - it was packed in there, and didn't feel entirely safe near the end (some smaller girls were getting shoved).
I agree with you about the witches. They fit the setting, I guess, but they didn't really do anything for me.
Posted 01 March 2013 - 10:18 AM
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