lady m

13 Oct

LADY M. REVIEW
A rehearsed trailer
At the Bread and Roses Theatre, Clapham.

Lady Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most well known villains. Tim Frost has written this – rather more historical play in Iambic Pentameters, very much in the Bard’s own style, but the author has thoroughly researched the actual story of the Macbeths.
He has discovered one of the reasons for Lady M.’s behaviour and the reason for her aversion to King Duncan. Here are no witches or crones, just Macbeth’s blind ambition – something his wife had not reckoned with. She seemed to have no idea of his propensity for murdering people who got in his way. Once his ambition has been fired.
Shakespeare left the subject of Lady M’s child-bearing a little ambiguous, but Frost has given her a son from a previous marriage – a son that has disappeared and who she misses all the time.
Frost is an excellent playwright and good director. He has cast well, finding a company of hardworking actors who have learned the whole script and rehearsed it for two days only. They perform this play of just over an hour with not a book in sight. The actors all said that it was easy to learn the lines because of the iambic pentameters.
The very lovely and striking blond actress Aoife Smyth plays Lady M in this production. She is seductive and charming and despite the revenge bubbling in her soul she greets her enemy with great charm and hospitality. Andrew Gallo is Macbeth – with exactly the correct bearded and masculine persona. Both the Macduff’s are charming. Lady Macduff played by Excellent actress Rosa French and she doubles as Shileas, retainer of Lady M in the ending part of the play. Stephen Emery who plays Macduff also doubles successfully as Duncan at the beginning.
Lady Macduff and Lady M are great friends and have some nice gossipy scenes. French and Smyth are a great combination both in appearance and attitude.
Finally, there is a comedy performance from Matthew Jordan as Ruaraidh major domo to the Macbeths at Glamis. He does strip naked at one point which he does without embarrassing us – as he runs to answer the knocking at the door.
This is an exhaustively well researched drama and very enjoyable played with the minimum of technical assistance – just a few lights, a couple of chairs and some sheeting is all they need to deliver a professional performance which is enjoyed by the enthusiastic young audience.
I hope that this play will get the attention it deserves. Fascinating historically especially with the deviations from Shakespeare, but as a thrilling drama in itself .

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