Shakespeare's classic tale of power, prophecy and conspiracy tells the story of Macbeth - a Scottish nobleman whose fated ascension sows the seeds of his own undoing.
Our adaption focuses on the supernatural puppetry present within the text, the inevitability of fate and historic traditions of witchcraft. With a perfectly atmospheric setting and liberal amounts on UV paint, it was unusual, challenging and an immensely fun production to instigate.
Rather than choosing a setting for our show, it was more a case of the setting choosing the play. St John on the Wall is a 14th century church set into the old city walls of Bristol. It was the place for the prayers of travellers, the boundary and, in a world where distance was measured by the rosary, a ritualistic beginning of a journey. With our main performance space being a crypt we were quite literally dancing on the graves of the dead. What show could play here but Macbeth?
I have always found that problematic constrictions result in far more innovative creations. Macbeth, yet again, proved this thesis. No available plug sockets made candles the main lighting source; ancient plasterwork made any wall attachments impossible and the small space created a delicate balance between exciting swordplay and audience accidents!
I must thank again the Churches’ Conversation Trust (Custodians of St Johns), who were a joy to work with and their generosity meant we had the imaginative space to create such a unique and atmospheric show.
Mingma Hughes (Adapter & Director)