"Cursed Macbeth in Exceptional Form."
by remotegoat reviewer for remotegoat on 15/02/11

Last evenings's newly arrived performance of Macbeth by the 'Trickster Theatre' company was exceptional, in its own way. Studio Liverpool, the brain-child of entrepreneur and Director Cellan Scott, also showed off his acting skills in what has to be the most difficult of Shakespearean roles known, with aplomb. Oh and he directed it also!

We were met with the new studio's new,posh and albeit 'tidy' rustic look on the fifth floor of the old Liverpool dock warehouses, now becoming popular amongst the trendy Liverpool art-set. In the round performances always agree with me, I love the close feel to the actors,and atmosphere. It makes sense to me, whilst Wilde's 'Ideal Husband' for example maybe would look odd this way, I feel you can apply Shakespeare productions to any given format. A smaller, raised stage, gave action to some scenes, and looked well during the performance. A bland, no nonsense attack was given to this amazing sense of reality that you felt during the performance.

Opening scenes gave way to mobsters in balaclavas, with pistols and knives on the hunt, whilst Macbeth's mob (terrorists? Unsure really) that hunted down the unfortunate in this darkened play. Helen Foster as Lady Macbeth shone through, and her 'out spot' speech gave me tingles, her nightmarish dreams coming to a reality in death. Trevor Fleming as Banquo, Carl Wharton as Duncan and Stuart Hudson as Porter/Ross lifting the scenes fully with the despair and fine acting. Zoe Vaux, also as Lady Macduff, and Angie Waller,Elizabeth Donnelly superbly frightened us to death with their spell's and conjuring on the excellent Macbeth's doomed scene - superb!

Paul Robinson was a fearless Macduff, and made the hairs of my neck stand when he declared 'my voice is in my sword'. Cellan Scott as Macbeth's impeccably sad demise in his folly, outshone the cast, although I feel that some speeches could have been slowed down a little. The "tomorrow....tomorrow.....tomorrow" in Macbeth's lowest ebb of the play a line that is probably the most important in the whole play, and needs to be heard. However, when you are directing and playing the lead you expect to be busy! A note also for actor Gavin Churnin as the murder and Malcolm, in whom nearly made me cry buckets in the murder scene; he was just completely vile, and played it wonderfully, with just the right amount of silence, and great facial gestures. However the cast as a whole are terrific.

I also enjoyed the lighting and sound effects,some expected,some not,especially the tinted effects,and disco effects! Sounds were interesting too,worked for me, well produced by Francis White-Robinson.Modern and updated,mobile phones,guns and knives. All crammed in to a five act masterpiece that only 'Trickster Theatre' can pull off. I shall be returning for future projects it's that good. One little feeble complaint though: don't keep an audience waiting downstairs for too long, you did lose a couple of punters.

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