Ambition, betrayal, love, greed and blood. wit incorporated brings Shakespeare’s famous tragedy to the stage in Melbourne’s inner west with The Tragedy of Macbeth at Footscray’s Bluestone Church Arts Space in August 2016.
A prophecy from a trio of witches foretells Macbeth will one day be Queen. Consumed by ambition and goaded by her husband, Macbeth murders Queen Duncan and takes the throne. The tyrannical reign that follows, filled with guilt and paranoia, results in a bloodbath and civil war, as Macbeth and Lord Macbeth fall deeper into the realms of madness and death.
“Macbeth is set roughly 500 years prior to Shakespeare’s time, yet still appealed to an audience who were able to see their own struggles reflected on the stage,” says Director Jennifer Innes. “The themes of ambition, corruption, greed, power still move us, because they are universal – even if the scope and focus of our struggles may change.
“We have all battled with greed; with the desire to break our own moral code just a little bit to get ahead. We have all taken the less ethical, more self-serving option at times – pushing back the line of right and wrong. But at what cost? What happens when humans go too far and lose their humanity? Every time we turn on the news we are flooded with answers to this question.
“What has changed since Shakespeare’s time is conversation around gender and privilege. By flipping the genders of our characters, we hope to add to the current conversation, generating discussion, debate and probably arguments. Bring it on. We’re ready.”
The production sees a nation of powerful women and subservient men thrown into turmoil by Queen Duncan’s murder. wit incorporated Artistic Director and co-founder, Belinda Campbell says playing Macbeth has been an enlightening experience.
“I wish everyone could experience this process of imagining a world where our roles are reversed,” says Campbell. “It makes you dissect what we think about gender and our place in society; what we’ve learned and how we’ve learned it. These characters aren’t reliant on their gender to make sense. The story is the thing that matters, and a good story works regardless of the gender of the characters.”
Director: Jennifer Innes Cast: Jane Barry, Belinda Campbell, James Cerche, Guillym Davenport, Briony Farrell, Alexandra Hines, Chad O’Brien, Marissa O’Reilly, Jennifer Piper, Cait Spiker, Tammy Weller Creative: Allison Bell, Sarah Clarke, Elizabeth Esguerra, Jessica Lawrence, Penny McDonald, Jennifer Piper, Felicity Steel
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Bluestone Church Arts Space, 10A Hyde Street, Footscray
Season: 12 – 27 August 2016
Information and Bookings: www.witinc.com.au
Image: wit incorporated presents The Tragedy of Macbeth (supplied)