Writer: William Shakespeare
Director: Ferdy Roberts
Composer: Tom Haines
Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald
“The Scottish Play”, that infamous work of William Shakespeare, returns to Glasgow’s Citizens Theatre in a new one act re-working by Filter and Tobacco Factory Theatres. This particular version, although for the most part stays true to the prose of the original, tries to modernise the piece to such an extent that any impact is lost and the production as a whole fails to deliver.
Filter Theatre have reinvented the classic Shakespeare play in the style of a staged radio play, with all the sound effects played live. Although visually and technically impressive, the actual content of the ‘score’ as it were is altogether more miss than hit. Opening with the Wyrd Sisters, the accompaniment is almost comical, completely ill-befitting the mood and served up with a distinct lack of reverence for one of the worlds greatest plays.
Solid performances come from all the company, but most notably from the title character, played by Ferdy Roberts and his Lady wife, played by Poppy Miller. Both keep the complex narrative flowing, and lengthy soliloquies are slightly more bearable with the powerful delivery which serve as a distraction from the chaos of the modernisation of the piece, if nothing else.
The use of props is overall done to great effect, with the blood acting as a visual aid to the audience of the turmoil in the protagonists head. It is also rather humorous to see a King eating a packet of Skips, which tends to appeal to the schools audience a production of this nature attracts. There is certainly humour laced throughout, most notably in the splice of an English teacher who is analysing the text with their class. It must be said that all of what is done in this production is clever, but more often than not it is too clever – too avante garde – for the audience. In short, one should simply not meddle with a classic.
Runs until 31 January