May 2nd, 2011

La Loge

Macbeth

Very, very, very far behind.  What with Passover and trying to get back into my novel, I've let three (count 'em, three) plays go by unnoted and unsung.  And that will Never Do.  Especially since John Douglas Thomas should go down as one of the more interesting Macbeths, and Annika Boras absolutely the most beautifully chilling Lady M's I've ever seen.

We saw her in Orlando this winter, where I found her lacking in intensity.  Maybe it was the production, or she was having an off-night, as an actor may in live theatre,  In any case, she was plenty intense in Macbeth.  Physically, there's not much to her--a stroke of black satin, tiny white hands, pale blond hair braided tightly to a small head.  But what a voice.  And what a horrified energy she brought to "Come unsex me here" and "My hands are of your color."  Her Lady M. is as tragic as her lord, a woman who throws away her humanity to become a queen, and eventually dies of it.  This is the not the only production I've seen where it's clear that the Macbeths are passionately attached to each other, but it's the only one where you can watch them clinging to each other even while their relationship sinks under the consequences of what they have done.  Right before the guests arrive for what will be the Banquet Scene, they sit side by side at the table, staring hopelessly out at the audience, holding hands like frightened children.  It's clear they love each other, but it's not enough to keep her sane or alive.  And once she's dead, his only tie to life is gone.  I've seldom heard "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" delivered as emotionally, as bitterly, as personally as John Douglas Thompson delivered it.

I had a lot more thoughts, too, about gender and power and ambition and how the really good characters are men who display the virtues associated with both genders.  But if I wait until I've got them formulated clearly enough to put them in this post, I won't get it up before I've seen Sleep No More.  And I need to get this up before I see that, because Sleep No More is Mackers again, only completely different.  And I'm seeing it tomorrow night.  However, you can find a certain amount about what I think about Macbeth himself in the comments to ellen_kushner 's entry here