On March 31, the Wake Forest theatre department’s production of the Scottish play opened, with cast members stunning, scaring and interacting with the many audience members that were in attendance.
This dark adaptation of the Shakespeare classic was directed by Wake Forest associate professor Brook Davis.
Upon walking into the theatre, audience members see the intricate work done by scenic designer Rob Eastman-Mullins and all members of the scene shop. The stark contrast of the black yarn against the white walls served to look like a web — ironic, for the title character makes a habit of spinning a web of lies, deceit and full out murder.
This modern adaptation of Bacmeth opens with characters dressed in military-esque costumes, a perfect nod to the battle scenes and wars that ensue. The Lady of the house’s costumes are also quite beautiful — with handmade patterns by Mary Wayne-Thomas portray images of power among Lady MacB’s character. This is extremely relevant, for she ultimately challenges her husband, thus being the driving factor that causes him to murder King Duncan, the first of many mistakes.
The witches, which play a key role in the Scottish play, were also very well done. There were no pointy hats, cloaks or hooked noses. There were no broomsticks, green skin or black cats.
These three weird sisters, played by Sierra Leslie, Suna Guo and Shane Lutz, were dressed in “street clothes,” banged on trashcans, and hissed at cast and audience members.
Hecate, played by Anne Peyton Brothers, was also included in Davis’s adaptation of the Scottish play. This decision to keep Hecate’s character was a great one — audience members loved her presence, speaking parts, and costume that seemed to mirror the web-likeness of the set.
The live singing by the witches was also a great addition to an already well done production.
The interactions between cast and audience members was well balanced. The “comedic relief” scene this tragedy, the porter scene, was hilarious. Played by Kevin Frazier, the porter stepped down into the audience, which drove other audience members to laughter.
Many scenes were breathtakingly done. The dinner scene, which involves several floating objects was stunning.
Spoiler alert: as in all Shakespearian tragedies, many people die. This production was no different. When the title character, played by Philip Kayser, dies, the delivery is shocking and rather frightful. I won’t spoil it for you here — you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. The Scottish play is running this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Remember, do not say the name, or the show will be cursed.