With tickets sold out three days prior to the show on Saturday, Oct. 10, Prague Shakespeare Company opened the 2015/2016 theatrical season with Macbeth play staging in Divadlo Kolowrat. Full auditorium created tension in the air intensifying the intimacy of Jessica Boone’s and Guy Roberts’ acting tandem on stage.
From the first seconds of the play audience witnesses an evil ritual performed in front of their eyes. Once the actors enter the magic circle of the stage, a wicked chess game of life and death begins. One after the other, major pieces – King Duncan and Banquo – leave the board, satisfying Macbeth’s lust for power, seeded by witches and carefully cultivated by his wife. However, Lady Macbeth, now a Queen, is unable to live under the weight of guilt. She passes away, abandoning newly proclaimed ruler of Scotland to face Malcolm, a rightful heir to the throne, and Macduff, who is going to be a death of Macbeth.
The solid presence of the cast on stage creates the atmosphere of fatality, intensified by a meticulous music selection. The main characters were seated on transparent boxes in a half-circle, as if placed in relation to changing central figures – Duncan, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The play, directed by Guy Roberts, has its stage geometry: witches, representing the agents of chaos, move wildly and circularly, while six main characters’ movements are accurate and almost militarily straightforward.
Throughout the play actors built strong connection with the audience: indulged it into triangular relationship between Macbeth and his Lady. This unity was possible because of Guy Roberts and Jessica Boone outstanding acting. They managed to create an image of a couple bonded by a desire for power. Boone’s serpent-like persuasion is full of grace and murderous determination, so that Lady Macbeth’s influence on her husband is believable. Sometimes, Roberts’ Macbeth is too self-sufficient and determined for someone who is, supposedly, manipulated by women. However, this behavior contrasts to his self-flagellation later in the play.
John Poston was convincing in his role, portraying Macduff’s patriotism and impulsiveness. An impressive performance delivered Jared Doreck, contrasting chaste Malcolm and Macbeth.
Although, some parts of Shakespeare’s play might have been better highlighted, a long-running production of Prague Shakespeare Company conveys many ideas of Macbeth amazingly balanced and concise.
This season Macbeth will be shown two more times at the Divadlo Kolowrat, Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Tickets are available online at the PSC website.
By Karina Verigina
Photos credit: Brian Messman