Posts Tagged ‘Kenneth Freakin’ Branagh’

MacBeth was, in my humble opinion, some of the most amazing theater I have seen in a long time.  It was fun, full of energy, tragic too-don’t get me wrong with the fun comment, but there were some funny moments amongst all the death.  And so many aspects of theater were brought to the stage for the audience to experience making it quite easy to suspend disbelief for two hours.

First, I braved a tunnel for the first time in, like, 20 years for Kenneth Branagh.  Second, my bladder survived the over two hours with no intermission.  Bravo on both counts for me.

Tonight we will touch upon the concept of spectacle from Aristotle’s Poetics found in this smashing production of MacBeth.  And yes, I am biased because of Kenneth Branagh.  Spectacle–there was freakin’ rain in the theater.  Hello, rain. And mud.  And fire.  Obviously there was air too, so we’ve covered four elements.  The fifth element in my world was Leeloo Dallas, no, it was Kenneth Freakin’ Branagh.  The witches climbed up and down the henge, they floated, they cackled.  It looked like they used the same crap in their hair that I had to use in Oedipus.  What was that gross, nasty stuff called?  I can’t remember but it made your hair look dried out and greasy all at the same time.  You had to wash it three or four times to get it out of your hair–and I had short hair at the time!

The entire drill hall of the Armory was used.  You walk down a stone path surrounded by the Scottish countryside toward a henge.  Then, in the show, the army approaches through it, lanterns come floating forward, it gives the constant reminder of the vastness of the story and its place in the world.

The rain and the mud and the battles-the music of all the noises added to the spectacle of the entire production.The costumes had mud along the hems, their bare feet had to feel all squishy.  The bodies slammed into the walls of the audience, the swords clanging, the robed chanting people walking through the audience.  Hubby and I of course started hitting our heads on the significant beats during the chant…too many times watching Monty Python.

And mustn’t forget the language.  I loved hearing some of classic lines from this play that have worked their way into everyday use.  But mostly, to hear Kenneth Freakin’ Branagh talking, speaking and at times reminding myself I was sitting in the very space he was speaking in blew my mind.  And when love speaks the voice of all the gods make heaven drowsy with the harmony.  Can one voice harmonize with itself?  Sure sounded like it.


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