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Macbeth enthralls audiences in Rovaniemi

26 Apr 2019, 20:59 ( 3 Months ago) | updated: 26 Apr 2019, 21:41 ( 3 Months ago)

DF Report by Ben Espinola
Press Release Photo.

The American Drama Group Europe performed two iterations of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Rovaniemi Theatre on April 23.

The performance, shortened to about an hour and a half from the original two and a half hours, was given to an audience made up mostly of post-secondary school groups peppered with a few theatre enthusiasts.

The play was expertly performed by a small cast of talented professional British actors. Each actor, save for the main lead, played multiple characters.

The performance, in fact, featured only six actors in total, a detail which only became evident during the final bows. While this choice was at times confusing, particularly once the actors’ faces became recognizable, the costume changes and powerful performances given by each actor allowed the viewers familiar with the characters to differentiate between them.

The play featured a couple of other notable directorial choices. Immediately noticeable was the starkly minimalistic set. Throughout the play, the set was comprised solely of two small moveable walls draped with a tapestry of a landscape, occasionally with a chair or flag placed on stage. The effect forced the audience to focus on the performance of the actor, but did at times make it difficult to know where the characters were supposed to be.

The most remarkable departure from the style of Shakespeare was the captivating audiovisual elements. Throughout the play, electronic sounds were piped in through a speaker system. These included wind noises, thunder, echoes of ominous voices as well as a score of instrumental music that accompanied a few scenes. This was accompanied by well implemented dramatic lighting.

The result was a decidedly modern, but faithfully executed rendition of one of Shakespeare’s most iconic works that held the attention of an auditorium full of teenagers. This was no small feat for a centuries-old play performed in what was to the audience a foreign language.

ADG Europe is a theatre company founded in 1978 by an American living in Munich. It performs plays throughout Europe and the rest of the world and regularly performs plays and workshops for school groups. This version of Macbeth, performed in abridged and full-length forms has been performed across Europe and Asia and will soon be touring South America.

Macbeth, thought to have first been performed in 1606, is a tale of a power-hungry Scottish general and his wife’s violent rise to power and subsequent struggles with the guilt and paranoia that ensue.

It is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays and contains some of his most quotable lines. This performance shows that even hundreds of years later that in the right hands, it still maintains the power to move audiences.