So I just had to take a couple hours (and a few more than a couple McDonald’s fries) to be able to write coherently about tonight’s version of Macbeth. Based on a true story in Tunisian history and performed in Arabic (with truly atrocious subtitles) this was one of the worse shows I have seen in my life, let alone this trip. While I’m sure it is lauded in the media as forward, progressive, thought-provoking or what-not the major thought I was having was the inner debate I began a little over halfway through about whether or not I would prefer having my toenails ripped out. Coming from someone who has nearly done that, I have a pretty decent idea of how it would feel (bad guys, really bad). And so was this show. I really do hate to bash a performance, but there is very little I can say positively about this show. It simply pained me greatly to go through. By the end I was in so much of a fog, I didn’t even realize it was over until the rest of the audience started clapping. The tech work was what really hurt though. I can endure bad talent and bad writing/staging (not that I want to), but really apparently no conversations between the computer guys and stage management went on. The actors often stood in front of the subtitles, not that it actually mattered because whoever made the videos (and there were many – not something I want in my theater) clearly did not think about the way white words would look on a light-colored background i.e. invisible. Not that the rest were much better – small and slightly blurry; it hurt my head to follow along. Which is one of the main reasons I was lost by the end. I only discovered the plot when I read the programme after the show (I do like that Riverside doesn’t charge for them – though they obviously are no where near as nice as the specially glossy ones for musicals). I was extremely disappointed because I was so impressed by Romeo and Juliet at Riverside. I was hoping for another wonderful show like that.
Furthermore, I was able to meet up with a guy from the RSC with the Roundhouse theater at the moment to get the “inside scoop” (and d* it being to cold for ice-cream, good looking shops are almost as common as creperies here) on the theater. Amazingly it was built (the actual inside theater with seats, stage, and all) in 10 days plus 4 for the set. However, since Matilda was once again recommended I believe I will be trying to get a ticket to that rather than see Spring Awakening at Riverside – I’ll leave that to when I know it’s going to be good. I would rather not suffer through an overly dramatized (actually I take that back Weirdly dramatized) re-imagined show.
I’ll update with pictures tomorrow. Now I’m off to bed. I’m touring theaters tomorrow along with Top Hat and Les Mis. Very exciting!