Life’s But A Walking Shadow: A Review of Flabbergast’s Macbeth by Jenny-Rose Morrison

On Wednesday 26th April I had the pleasure of attending Flabbergast Theatre’s production of Macbeth. Having seen a number of iterations of the play in the past, I had assumed that I would be there to see a similar interpretation as before – I could not have been more wrong. The Flabbergast production of Macbeth is a triumph; it’s funny, harrowing, intense, creative, and wholly captivating. The set was minimal, with dirtied sheets across the floor and dusty skirts serving to create most of the atmosphere and distinction between the characters. The six actors took on many roles during the proceedings, and the chaos of it all gave the entire experience an immersive sense of dread throughout.

Flabbergast did not shy away from the horror elements of the play, and their command of atmosphere and immersion was incredible. From the moment I walked in there was music, an eerie chorus of bells and gongs accompanied by the troupe acting out the plot of the play in abstract, disordered movement. The colours were drab and murky, the lighting sharp and casting shadows in all manner of odd colours – it felt as though you had intruded upon something altogether sinister. Their energy was infectious, and as they built towards the climax it felt as though you were right there with them. In fact, every beat and every line that was meant to draw out a reaction did just that – I have never been part of such a rapt audience.

By far one of the biggest highlights of the production was The Porter. Doubling as Banquo, he was funny, energetic, and balanced the contrasts between tragedy and levity masterfully. Adding to the immersion, The porter clambered through the audience and spoke to as many as possible on his way, bringing us all into the experience with the rest of the players onstage and making it all the more magnetic when the inevitable madness returned.

Altogether, this production was absolutely marvellous. Watching it felt like watching it for the first time, and each reveal and sinister plot felt new and exciting. I cannot recommend it enough and wish I could experience it again. I have never seen anything like it.