YPAS performance of “Macbeth” impresses

Graham Manuel

The Youth Performing Arts School’s performance of Macbeth is definitely a play worth seeing. The actors did an amazing job especially considering they were performing a play in Early Modern English. There was the occasional stumble, which was barely even recognizable. The actors kept the play exciting and interesting. The battles were well choreographed, especially the opening battle where there was an abundance of people fighting.

The lead role of Macbeth was played by Curtis Lipsey (11). Other main characters included King Duncan, played by Sean Garvey (12) and Banquo, played by Max Abner (12). Some actors, such as Nick Mudd (12), played multiple roles. Nick played The Porter, Doctor, and Murder Victim Three. This made the play confusing at times because it took a while to figure out which parts the actors were playing. Six actors played at least two parts.

There were issues that distracted during the play. After one of the characters was killed, the lights were supposed to go off so that the dead character could exit the stage. This did not happen; instead, the actors stayed still. It did not even look like they blinked. The crowd did not know what was going on and I thought that one of the actors had forgotten their lines, until the crowd was told that there were some technical difficulties and to pretend that the lights were off. Apparently, there was a power surge in the building that messed up the program for the lights. This was soon fixed and the lights worked for the rest of the play. Also, just before the first act ended, the school bells rang. They were not loud enough to overshadow the actors, but loud enough to notice and get distracted by for a brief moment.

Macbeth is a Shakespearean tragedy believed to be written between 1604 and 1606. The play was written in Early Modern English, which can made it difficult to read and understand. Some words have different meanings, such as the word “posters” which means swift travelers in Early Modern English. Some words also look odd and sound weird such as the word sev’nights in act one scene three.

The play is about the murder of a King of Scotland and the toll it took on the character Macbeth and those close to him. Macbeth has five acts and twenty-eight scenes. The first act is the longest, lasting about an hour, while acts two through five lasted just under an hour. The play mostly consists of monologues and dialogue, but that is not all. It also includes a few action scenes as well as a couple of murder scenes, so if a dull play is what you are looking for then Macbeth probably isn’t for you.

It is believed in theater circles that Macbeth is cursed. The so-called curse started with the first production of the play, where the person playing Lady Macbeth caught a fever and died. About 66 years after the first production, the actor playing Macbeth had a real dagger and killed the actor playing the king. The history of the curse continues through 2001 when the Cambridge Shakespeare Company put on a production where Lady Macbeth bumped her head, Macduff injured his back, Ross broke a toe, and two trees fell and destroyed the set. Due to this “curse,” the play was not introduced as Macbeth; instead, it was introduced as The Scottish Play.