The Year 11 and Year 10 Macbeth trip By Adam Year 11

The Year 11 and Year 10 Macbeth trip By Adam Year 11

Posted: 2nd February 2024

The theatre foyer of the Old Vic in Bristol contained within it a sparkly bar full of all kinds of glimmering drinks that glinted at you the moment you stepped foot in the place as if they were attempting to show off. A fair number of tables and chairs were dotted around the foyer that were, in all honesty, nothing to marvel at but the actual stage and seating we were directed to by the staff certainly caught the eye. The theatre boasts three layers of seating and on this particular night very few chairs were empty. Clearly year 11 and 10 were in for a treat if the people of Bristol thought it to be good enough to nearly sell out the place.

The play that we had all made the drive to see was a modernisation of the famous and well-known play of “Macbeth” that any English GCSE student ought to know like the back of their hand. Initially, the students’ experience was ruined by a small number of others’ inability to be quiet however, due to a cacophony of unified shushes from the audience we managed to settle down and watch the show intently. Unlike its Shakespearean predecessor, this play opens up on Lady Macbeth as she receives his letter detailing the witches prophecy that states he shall be king. However, this was not a letter but instead a video call that was projected onto the set. These projectors are used frequently in the play and were crucial in allowing the audience to see the play well, conveying the modern nature of the play as well as keeping everyone’s attention firmly fixed to the stage. Another interesting choice made by the play was the representation of the witches. The scene is revealed through clever effects directly after the murder of Duncan in such a way that it emphasises the witches power and how they’ve affected Macbeth mentally. The greatest choice was the inclusion of showing some action. In this modern age of technology and short-form content a play with no action is completely incompatible with today’s youth therefore by showing the odd murder here and there the cast retained the audience’s attention span well. The action was so intense that Macduff was able to attain his revenge not by slaying Macbeth’s kin as the tyrant Macbeth had none to slew. But by ripping him of his final words with a rather satisfying neck crack that had been a long time coming. 

However, some aspects were changed for the worse and we picked up on these well. Macduff wasn’t consumed by a desperate fury to kill the one that slaughtered his family but was instead muted and dull in his reactions. The other issue was the character of Ross. In the original Ross is a character that has many nuances and it’s difficult to tell whose side he’s on, however, the show at the Old Vic apparently lacked a porter and instead chose to turn Ross into the drunken fellow whose only purpose was comedic relief. However, all issues and weak points are forgiven due to the scene of Malcolm showing off her karaoke skills and jamming it out to “Yes sir I can Boogie” by Baccara for what was at least a solid two minutes. It was the most un-Macbeth scene I could have ever imagined and it was perfectly placed, leading to laughs from every student after a particularly tense scene. The play was enjoyed by all and it achieved its purpose of not only entertaining us but also of teaching us the intricacies and many interpretations of Shakespeare and the play of Macbeth. A huge thanks to the organisers of the trip!

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