It’s the Scottish play in Scotland, but also in New York, and in the 80’s – not to mention in the round. There is so much to talk about in BoxedIn Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which went up this week in the StAge. It was, in short, a treat. The performances were captivating without exception: Lydia Seed was thrilling to watch, and left me furious with Shakespeare for not putting Lady Macbeth onstage twice as often as she is. Bailey Fear was exquisitely unbalanced as Macbeth, and he and Seed radiated the toxic, irresistible chemistry which fuels the tragedy from beginning to end. The characters in this play are complicated, and these nuances shone through across the board: the strength and raw emotion of Macduff (Molly Williams); the reluctant, inexplicable charisma of Malcolm (Xavier Atkins); the genuine good nature of Banquo (Henry Roberts), which seems to mark him for death from the start. Ana Fati, Naphysa Awuah, and Cameron Chavers deserve special mention as the witches – evil has never looked so fun.
With the performance of Twelfth Night which took place in the StAge on the 10thof April as part of the On The Rocks Festival, Shakespeare’s beloved comedy has now been performed every year in St Andrews for the last four years. This, however, was definitely the most unique and, in more ways than one, the most impressive production.
I did not know that a fusion of Shakespeare and pop-punk bangers was missing from my life. I didn’t even realise I wanted it. And yet, Olli Gilford’s production of Twelfth Night hit that apparent gap in the market with such precision that I haven’t stopped listening to their chosen soundtrack since.
Having been around more than four hundred years, the plays by William Shakespeare have been performed excessively. Not a complaint, of course, but it can be hard to distinguish the worthwhile interpretations from the not-so-much. Film adaptations are often riskier, fuelled by actors leaping at the chance to be ‘the one who got it right’. While every character portrayal has its merits, some actors exceed expectations with their originality. Here are some scene-stealers – the best of the best.
A few, joyous things – perennial drizzle, crumbly 1950s buildings, being known as ‘the posh Sarah’ – spring to mind about sixth form. My suburban, Adrian Mole-style grandiosity aside, one forever embarrassing memory is of absolutely loving Othello, which I studied for A Level English Lit. Hearing that everyone’s favourite Cyprus-based jealousy fest, directed by Benji Bailey, would be performed from 12th-14th February, I was determined that no other pseudo-intellectual, minor student reviewer would get there first.
Denmark’s most famous female looks out onto the waters of Copenhagen wistfully, head bowed, eyes solemn. She gazes out to sea, but her body – half human, half mer-person – would rather be back on land. She has a decision to make. I am staring at the postcard of Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid that I bought at the airport before my flight home, back to London, with the same mournful sense of sadness.