North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre took on an age-old theatre challenge by choosing to produce Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which, according to legend, is a cursed play. Fortunately for the young cast of this production, the show goes off without a hitch.
Director Peter Comperatore boldly chooses to set the show in present-day Texas. All of the action and scheming take place at the Scotland Corporation, an energy company where greed and backstabbing abound. Dark modern music and snazzy lighting by Clara Freeze also work to bring the classic tale to life for today’s audience, but not one of Shakespeare’s original words is lost in the process.
Even more incredible than the fierce loyalty to the script is the grasp that the young cast has on the difficult Shakespearean language and meaning. Their understanding is so strong that many of the cast members add gestures or a wink here and there to aid in audience understanding, making this an excellent performance for those new to Shakespeare’s plays and for the seasoned Bard-buff alike.
Leo Brody makes a dashingly handsome and power-hungry Macbeth, while Hannah Woodcock’s impassioned portrayal of Lady Macbeth rivals that of many a seasoned professional. The three witches, portrayed by Brianna Gilmore, Eilish Urgo, and Gabby Hammond are frightening crowd pleasers, with their slinky, dancelike moves, constant cackling, and wild makeup. Their costumes—slashed up business suits in bright colors designed by Sally Kinka—are the perfect complement to their antics.
Moments that simply can’t be missed include a recreation of the famous cauldron scene using a prescription pill bottle in place of the menacing black pot, and Macbeth’s truly eerie murder of Duncan set to dark music and haphazard lighting. Violence in the play is handled tastefully, making Macbeth suitable for audiences of all ages.
The show will run weekends through September 25, with Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3:00p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 919.866.0228 or by visiting NRACT.org. This is the perfect, spooky show to prepare for the upcoming Halloween season, so don’t miss it!