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SHAKESPEARE’S MACBETH (article first published : 2005-02-21)

Following the sell-out successes of their previous presentations of KZN Matric Shakespeare set-works, The Actors Co-operative, in association with The Playhouse Company, presents a vibrant new staging of Macbeth in Durban.

This new staging of Macbeth is the sixth in the Actors Co-operative's series of professional Shakespeare undertakings with National Vita Best Director Garth Anderson at the helm, this time with Peter Court lending invaluable support as assistant director.

As with the Co-operative’s previous Shakespearean ventures, the production focuses strongly on action, highlighting the play’s narrative thrust for young audiences, so making it easier for learners to explore the many levels of interpretation that are open to them.

“William Shakespeare is the greatest story-teller the world has known,” says Garth Anderson. “For 450 years no other writer has managed to keep an audience enthralled as he has. In this production I have chosen to tell the story of the play, and if learners leave the theatre having understood what happens in Macbeth, I would have completed my task.”

Featuring a predominantly youthful cast exuding big energy, the two-hour-long production stars powerful young Quincy Fynn in the title role, playing opposite Actors Co-operative leading lady, Lucy Wallace as Lady Macbeth. Both actors are strongly committed to getting the Shakespearean idiom across to local youth audiences, and both are active as performance teachers behind the scenes in local theatre circles.

A recent Durban Theatre Awards nominee, Wallace was seen as Desdemona in the Co-op's 2004 Othello and subsequently as a riveting Hester in Fugard’s Hello and Goodbye at the Catalina Theatre last year. Quincy Fynn’s diverse stage appearances in Durban in recent seasons have ranged from his playing Benedict opposite Lucy’s Beatrice in The Bard’s Much Ado About Nothing for UKZN Drama, to an acclaimed portrayal of 60s pop idol poet Jim Morrison in The Doors – To The Other Side, besides fronting his own, highly successful, hip hop fusion band, Big Idea.

Stembiso Mbatha, Rowan Bartlett and Iain Robinson lead Macbeth’s strong supporting cast, playing Banquo, the Porter and Macduff respectively, with award-winning actress Mamtandi Zulu leading the trio of witches. Shika Budhoo plays Lady Macduff, and Garth Anderson as the ill-fated King Duncan completes the professional ensemble.

Schools performances of the Shakespeare classic are to be presented in The Playhouse Opera from February 28 to March 17 from Mondays to Thursdays at 08h30 and 11h30 (Fridays at 11h30). The cost is R30 per learner, with one teacher per 30 pupils admitted free. Schools bookings can be made via Margie Coppen on 083 251 9412. Schools interested in offering learners the opportunity to see this staging should contact her as soon as possible, as a sell-out season is on the cards.

In addition, two public performances of Macbeth are to be given on March 4 and March 11 at 19h00. Tickets R40 (R35 students/pensioners). Booking is through Computicket on 083 915 8000, www.computicket.com, or through Dial-a-Seat on 031-369 9555.

Following its Playhouse season, a short tour of Macbeth will see a performance at John Ross High School in Richards Bay on March18 ; Hilton College Theatre from March 22 to 24 ; and Port Shepstone’s Civic Centre on March 25. Tour performances are at 8h30 and 11h30 daily. Bookings on 083 251 9412.




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