Scottish couple face the post-apocalypse in Macbeth | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Scottish couple face the post-apocalypse in Macbeth 

click to enlarge Scotsmen with guns (and masks): Angus (Thomas Porter) and Ross (Jason Weeks) in Macbeth - PHOTO COURTESY OF THEATRE IN THE PARK


Theatre in the Park
Through Feb. 15

With careers now best measured in decades, Lynda Clark and Ira David Wood III have each fully earned their status among the first rank of this region's actors. When the two have shared the same stage in recent years, they've conjured up memorable interpretations of dysfunctional partners, in a 2005 run of The Lion in Winter, Wood's own Eros and Illinois in 2006 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in 2007. Our anticipation was understandable upon receiving word that the pair would helm a production of Macbeth this season at Theatre in the Park.

Clark and Wood present us here with a royal couple that's a lot cagier in some ways than those we've seen in recent runs. Where other productions have emphasized the dark-starred Thane of Cawdor's assessments (and, ultimately, his miscalculations) when it comes to advisors, aides and those who stand between him and the throne, here most of the sizing up goes on between husband and wife. The distrusting pair are clearly forced to re-evaluate each other anew with every twist of Shakespeare's plot—a series of appraisals that continues for most of the play.

But these actors' achievements are limited in this production by a support cast hard-pressed to keep up with them. Robert Marden, standing in for an ailing John T. "Jack" Hall in the role of Duncan, gave a tasty Russian twist to the monarch, Macbeth's first benefactor and victim. On Saturday night, Jason Weeks' otherwise steely reading of Ross became enmired in the fatal dramatic pauses of an Act II scene with Michael Murray.

But several of the younger actors on stage experienced more difficulty. Though both struck a number of theatrical poses, Ira David Wood IV's and James Miller's respective work in the roles of Malcolm and Macduff, in particular, seemed dramatically underfunded.

The cuts and adaptations Wood has made as director here also give some pause. Some productions, particularly those lacking a deep enough bench, cut the comic relief of the Porter's scene in Act II or Lady Macduff's murder in Act IV. This production does both. But why was it necessary to noticeably abridge the "weyard" sisters' famous incantation scene?

Stephen J. Larson's set design places this Macbeth in a blighted, cold industrial wasteland similar to the one Temple Theater explored in last month's Hamlet. Like that show, this production also uses projected video of actors, though technical glitches in blank screen projections and sound and visual quality marred its deployment the night we saw it.

Even so, a number of striking images linger—most associated with the opening of two portentous doors at the center of the back wall. A mid-show satanic ritual results in a visual moment seemingly lifted from The Exorcist, while the combination of fog, backlights and sound reference The Terminator—and music videography—in other places.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater

Twitter Activity


Several remarkable songs, too, including Huldy's exuberantly hilarious "murder ballad" that brings down the house.

by chuck02 on The Moors Trains the Devices of the Brontë Sisters' Novels on a Toothsome Critique of Gothic Romance (Theater)

Most Recent Comments

Several remarkable songs, too, including Huldy's exuberantly hilarious "murder ballad" that brings down the house.

by chuck02 on The Moors Trains the Devices of the Brontë Sisters' Novels on a Toothsome Critique of Gothic Romance (Theater)

What a well written article! You really got this project, a great read!

by Jude Casseday on Stephanie Leathers’s Stalwart SITES Series Is a Performance-Art Map of Durham Development (Theater)

This looks wonderful! I cant wait until it goes on the road so we can see it in California!

by Michelle Nogales on Pioneering African-American Sci-Fi Author Octavia Butler’s Empathy and Foresight Take the Stage in Parable of the Sower (Theater)

Spelling error for one of the owners of RRE: it's Rebekah Carmichael, not Rachel Carmichael. Also, the shows run between …

by J Robert Raines on Raleigh Room Escapes Slips Through the Keyhole Between Room-Escape Games and Immersive Theater (Theater)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation