On Wednesday evening, in Louise McKinney Park, I took in the Preview performance of Freewill Shakespeare's Macbeth. Responding to Covid, the company presented an adaptation written for 3 actors, which was shorter, with streamlined sets and costumes, to better fit into the Fringe and other locations. There's also a similar production of Much Ado About Nothing adapted for 5 actors, but I haven't had a chance to catch that one yet.
It was so nice to be in an audience sharing the experience of live theatre, and this was a terrific choice as it was brisk and lively and quite funny. The three actors (Nadien Chu, Rochelle Laplante, and Laura Raboud) were skilled with the Shakespeare as well as the quick script. Three natural comedians, they played well with and off each other. Those that know Macbeth can be reassured that the essentials are covered, but this adaptation tends to lighten the more gory parts with clever songs and provide exposition in humorous ways. There's also low-risk audience participation. On the Preview night, the audience was a little rusty but once their memories were sparked they leapt in.
Most lovely for me was seeing the three actors joyous response to the applause. I feel for all the #yegtheatre performers who have tried to serve us over the last year and a half with online performances. Finally they can hear our gratitude for the splendid art that they are creating instead of sending it out into the silent void of zoom.
Next for me is a Fringe show. I'm finding it hard to get back to being around people so I am taking it slow. I'll see a show on Monday and if that goes well, I hope to catch a few more later in the week.
You can catch Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing at the Fringe. Click the titles for the links to tickets and showtimes. Some performances already show limited availability, so you might want to get those ticket sooner rather than later!
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