Modern take on a dramatic classic

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Review: Macbeth, Theatre Royal, Glasgow, by Arran High School student William Downing 

English and drama pupils from Arran High School visited the Theatre Royal in Glasgow to deepen their understanding and knowledge of the play Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

Almost every row was full as the play began. Created by the National Theatre, this production sold out on its premiere in London and is now touring the nation.

This was my first Shakespeare experience – the modern take on the play gave an interesting portrayal of such a globally renowned story.

Lights dimmed on the empty stage as the first scene commenced – the echoing and eerie voices of the witches filling the theatre. Modern music and cold lighting brought the script to life as the post-apocalyptic setting portrayed the already stark play in a shocking and realistic staging.

Witches were pole dancers who used movement and chanting to create a supernatural mood, with the other main characters dressed in battle fatigues. A red suit identified the most powerful character in contrast to the soldiers.

Each scene flowed into the next as the minimalist set moved across the curved stage with each act – a new perspective for each scene. From costumes to characters, the simple adaptation caught the ideas of the play clearly and starkly with little remorse.

From up on the balcony, on the third level, the stage was just as captivating as the story foretold – great soliloquies that captivated the audience, with large battles that swamped the stage.

Arran High school English and Drama departments received funding from: Eileen Wilson Kerr (arts coordinator) Arran Theatre and Arts Trust and The Arran Society of Glasgow. Thank you to all of these people who enabled students to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.