Continuing with their streak of box office-breaking productions, Shakespeare BASH’d presents William Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Little Italy’s Monarch Tavern in a relatable and essential fashion. The company is most commonly known for their widening popularity in presenting a “bare bones” approach to engaging with Shakespeare’s works. This wildly embracive troupe tours the bard’s works within Toronto bars, establishing a comfortable, relaxed, and common environment geared to enjoying Shakespeare as it was meant to be.
For those unfamiliar with the tragedy of Macbeth, the narrative details Scottish General Macbeth’s (David Ross) tragic downfall lead upon by lust, ambition, and greed. Upon listening to the prophecies of three deranged witches, Macbeth purges his fate under the assisted persuasion of Lady Macbeth (Ameila Sargisson). Slaughter occurs, terror is struck and unrest spreads wildly through Scotland. Breaching on themes of evil, revenge and the mystical, Shakespeare BASH’d undresses the challenges of this tragedy to effectively portray their “honest” approach.
In accordance with their mandate, the troupe gallantly emphasizes the tensely romanticized relationship of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Sargisson delivers a phenomenal performance throughout, predominately standing out amidst the ensemble of dedicated performers. The embracing of controversial decisions conspired by the pair ultimately separates and unifies the relationship – one built on ambition and deceit. Ross and Sargisson’s dual engagement is emphatic. Audiences do not only note the relationship, but they become immersed in it. The ensemble’s enthusiasm and dedication to the piece not only triumphs, but courageously ascends and transforms the stage.
The production’s success stems form Director James Wallis’ attempt at removing the Shakespeare stigma and embedding his works within today’s contemporary culture. The show does not take place in some far off Elizabethan adventure. Although an elite tragedy, audiences are better able to relate to the production because the production relates to and is reflective of them. Although not an entirely new concept, it is utterly effective. The design is simple yet symbolic, heralding this approach as both entertaining and captivating — a definite must-see.
Presented by Shakespeare BASH’d, Macbeth runs to November 23rd at the Monarch Tavern (12 Clinton Street). For tickets, please visit the following link: http://www.shakespearebashd.com/tickets.html.
photo credit: Kyle Purcell