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RSC's Macbeth


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#31 Welthorpe

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 03:26 PM

I take on board the comments about accents and agree wholeheartedly with most of them. The problem here is that it is not the actors that are being criticised for their accents. Far from it. In Macbett the same actors inhabit a broadly similar accent zone. The problem with this particular production is that, as the director explained, the mixture of accents is intentional - ie what the actors are told to do, not what they might naturally do. Apparently the intent was to show that Macbeth is a play that affects the world today in all regions of conflict. My own personal criticism of the play is that it is a damn mess - and the accent thing just adds to it all. In doing so, I have answered my own question I suppose - that's what the dialect coach was doing - teaching them NOT to sound the same. It was a mistake. Critics of the accent argument here seem to assume that the accents are the actors' normal accents - that is not the case though. And that's the problem....

#32 Edagar

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 05:15 PM

I love the latent racism of the thread.

#33 Duncan

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 01:50 PM

I've just got back from seeing this and so can now add some fresh thoughts.

I didn't have any problem with the colour-blind casting or the Irish accent for Macbeth. My problem with the production was chiefly that Macbeth looked too much like a one-dimensional action hero and there was no convincing portrayal of his inner torment. Having him flailing around when meeting the witches for the second time was laughably bad both as an idea and in its execution. It was more like watching Highlander than Shakespeare.

Mrs Macbeth was equally unconvincing.

However, on the plus side I did like the idea of making the witches victims of Macbeth's past atrocities and their continuing presence on stage manipulating events, particularly their puppetry of Banquo's corpse and their dagger throwing during Macbeth's vision. Having the witches collectively play the porter was also clever.

I left feeling that I'd seen half a production that could have been considerably better with different casting but using the same basic ideas.

The innovation I could have done without was the hanging of Macbeth by the witches in order for one of them to then gratify herself using the resulting tumescence.

#34 Jan Brock

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Posted 24 June 2007 - 11:11 PM

QUOTE(Duncan @ Jun 23 2007, 02:50 PM) View Post
The innovation I could have done without was the hanging of Macbeth by the witches in order for one of them to then gratify herself using the resulting tumescence.


Right. And to think of the bile heaped on T.Nunn for showing the Fool being hanged in Lear (supported in a way by the text and hardly a novel insight anyway - I have seen it done befeore).

#35 Lynette

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 05:06 PM

oh dear....



#36 David

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Posted 25 June 2007 - 05:40 PM

QUOTE(Duncan @ Jun 23 2007, 02:50 PM) View Post
However, on the plus side I did like the idea of making the witches victims of Macbeth's past atrocities and their continuing presence on stage manipulating events, particularly their puppetry of Banquo's corpse and their dagger throwing during Macbeth's vision.


I really like the sound of this, especially after the awful interpretation of the witches in the last Macbeth I saw (slaughtered the text- you actually couldn't make it out, and had little to no characterisation).

QUOTE
The innovation I could have done without was the hanging of Macbeth by the witches in order for one of them to then gratify herself using the resulting tumescence.


But this sounds less good. And returns me to the inclination of not being very interested in trekking down to see this production. Ah well.

#37 Lynette

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:43 PM

Ok, Haz, I've seen it now. First of all, let's stop worrying about people having different accents and colours..this is a play where three witches appear, remember. I don't think this production was aiming for reality. It wasn't half as bad as you lot made out. They made a very big deal with the babies and supported it with the text nicely; they made sense of Macbeth the warrior at the beginning; they had a nice fight at the end. Lots of blood, serious brutality,a weird bit of 'hanging' and some daft pauses. They dragged it out too long by about 15 minutes.  So a mixed bag of good and poor stuff. It is quite fun seeing the Macbett too and the same actors. For those of you who hate superfluous props, we had chairs, suitcases and fire.

It was interesting hearing the Irish accent play Macbeth with its slightly different up and downs especially at the end of lines. Sometimes it worked very well but the 'tomorrow' speech fell flat I thought.

#38 Welthorpe

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 10:26 AM

Ok - I gave it another chance. It HAS improved a lot from when I first saw it. I still think bits are misguided, but it has developed somewhat.




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