In Review// Living With Macbeth at the Unity Theatre.

We enjoy a good staging of Macbeth here at Seba Rashii Culture and Living With Macbeth is more than just an adaption of the much performed play. Featuring elements and passages from Shakespeare's masterpiece of Gothic drama it's wrapped up in the pathos of an actor who just can't get out from his own mental block. On the first night of the show we were there. 

As we enter the performance space of the Unity Theatre, the plays two actors are in place, both sat prosaic as one stares distantly into space and the other sits head in hands, as if gripped by some worrisome issue. Throughout the performance the former's distant stare is a prominent feature, only occasionally broken as he reacts to his companions attempts to stir him from his state. The extreme emotion on these occasions is often amusing, imbued with a genuine sense of desperation and provides a great counterpoint to the scenes of contemplation silence.   

The central theme of an actor reliving his role, upset at the consequences of his own actions and failures is a powerful one. Impassioned and violent recital from the famed Scottish Play is integrated with emotionally charged and often side splitting banter between the leads. Even the periods of silence are as expressive in their actions as the periods of frenzied emotion and dramatics. The first acts recurring metaphor of 'knock knock knock' brings much humour and tension and the dramatic force of Shakespeare's words is often rendered darkly comical by the supremely talented actors. 

The second act moves at a frenzied pace, as violence, contemplation and sharp words between the characters creates an atmosphere at times overpowering. Despite the audience first meeting the characters at a late point in their lives and careers you feel as if you know the characters intimately with their nerves and perceived personal failures on show clearly. On the one hand there is the success of the comedy world but on the other there is the desire to reclaim a personal high, one that has previously been unattainable.  

As the show closes with a monologue that shows that happiness may still come despite the previous darkness you are left with the feeling you have just seen something special. Well done to the shows directors and cast for an excellent performance!

Reviewed by Sebastian Gahan. 

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