The actor chatted to LLLC’s Emma Clarendon about Proteus Theatre’s new production of Macbeth.

(c)D&M Photography.

Hi, what can we expect from Proteus’ production of Macbeth? We’re hoping audiences will see the play anew and connect with the story in an entirely different way. It’s a really physical interpretation with a great 80s soundtrack, we’re keeping it pacy and playing the piece like a thriller.

What was it about this interpretation that made you want to be involved with the production? Getting to explore the complexities of the character – what happens to an individual when they are given certain expectations by influences around them? Especially when fulfilling those expectations leads them to lie to themselves and everyone around them? Even to their own determent eventually.

How do you think that Macbeth is still so relevant to audiences today? Echoes of the past reverberate through it and strike the modern world – it is a world that we are having to contend with right now. It is a world order that we may feel, individually, is not of our own making but with all the power we leave to the people at the top, it’s clear that they will do anything to stay there.

How has it been working with director Mary Swan? Mary has a very relaxed way of working, which creates a calm environment in which to explore character, themes and emotion without feeling an enormous amount of pressure. You don’t feel constrained in the room. It is important for an actor to have a level of trust in their director that I have in Mary. I’ve felt like a collaborator during the research and development of the play. I’ve been listened to when I’ve had ideas, though not all of them were helpful I may add.

How would you describe this version of Macbeth? We’ve set the show specifically around ‘Black Monday’, the weekend of the stock market crash in 1987, so it has the look and the music of the late 80s while still feeling contemporary. It seemed then that capitalism was falling apart as greed rampantly created a super-rich class, and arguably that speaks to the world we find ourselves in now. Macbeth is a city trader, as opposed to a soldier – his battles are hostile takeovers of corporate companies rather than getting bloody on the fields of Scotland. The aggression is the same though, and lives are destroyed by his actions which tip over into real violence as the play progresses.

By Emma Clarendon

To find out more about Proteus’ production of Macbeth visit:http://www.proteustheatre.com/productions/macbeth-touring-2019

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