Macbeth 2015

by William Shakespeare, retold and reduced by Troy Chessman

Macbeth 2015 had 3 performances over 2 years ago (between the 6th of March 2015 and the 23rd of May 2015) at The Barn Theatre, The Leatherhead Theatre and Cecil Hepworth Playhouse

Something wicked this way comes! This production will be a modern retelling of the classic Shakespearean tragedy. Reduced to one act, our story is set on the grimy streets of modern day England. After a night of celebration at the local, our Macbeth (a man’s-man working a dull 9-5, merely coasting through life) receives an ominous prophecy from a gang of homeless strangers, who tell him he will be king. Driven by ambition and spurred on by his glamorous and fiery wife, Macbeth goes in pursuit of power by murdering those close and loyal to him, including his best friend. After these dark deeds he is soon wracked with guilt and finds himself trapped on a path of murder and betrayal to protect himself. The bloodbath and consequent battles swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of arrogance, madness, and loss. The play dramatizes the corrosive psychological and political effects produced when evil is chosen as a way to fulfil the ambition for power, with a modern backdrop.

The piece will be presented with a very minimal and symbolic set; the piece will not be entirely naturalistic and will incorporate some explorative and modern theatrical conventions. The three homeless strangers will be key to the flow of the piece and will help the plot transition in an open and free manner. The piece will have a definite ensemble feel to it, having the majority of the cast onstage throughout.

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Macbeth - Mark Humble

(20-40) Macbeth is an ambitious, hard working man’s-man who is sailing minimally through life, full of promise and potential to those around him, he is destined for great things. He is strong but easily influenced by his wife who feeds his ambition to fulfil the prophecy voiced by the three homeless strangers. He gives in to his fiery ambition and murders his Boss, his best friend and anyone who gets in his way to reach the top but not without feeling waves of guilt. He experiences quite an emotional journey through out the piece. (A lot of lines)

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Lady Macbeth - Caroline Ross

(20-40) A fiery, Ambitious sexual yet classy lady. She is the driving force behind Macbeth's murderous ambition. She uses her sexuality and femininity to manipulate those around her especially Macbeth. Although powerful and exuding confidence she takes a fall into madness, hallucinating and ultimately takes her own life as the guilt becomes too much to bear. Again, she experiences quite an emotional journey, driven by guilt. (A lot of lines)

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Banquo - Ian Thomas

(20-40) Macbeth's best friend and colleague. A bit of cheeky chap. He is a happy go lucky ladies’ man, who is always loyal to those around him; he is a doting father and Family man. After Duncan's murder he soon becomes suspicious of Macbeth and is soon after killed by him but Banquo soon returns as an apparition to taunt a guilt-ridden Macbeth.

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Macduff - Tom Hudson

(20-40) Macbeth's equal. He is exceptionally hard working and loyal to all those around him especially Duncan. He is a kind, caring family man who always commits to the greater good. When Macbeth hears that Macduff may become a threat to his title, he orders the murder of Macduff's family. Fuelled by revenge Macduff’s temperament changes quickly as he sets out to end Macbeth's tyranny, ultimately killing him.

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Roz - Lisa Hudson

(30-40) A rather sly and cunning person, a close ally of Duncan. At the Centre of all the tyranny happening around. The 'middle man' of all the feuding. The one who gleefully tells Macduff that Macbeth has murdered his family.

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Duncan - Shaun Mullins

(40+) Duncan is a loyal, firm, good looking man who has everything. He is the King, people gravitate towards him or want to be him; he is the boss. He believes in Macbeth and Banquo, he is a trusting man but is soon betrayed by Macbeth after he receives the prophecy from the three homeless strangers.

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Homeless Stranger 1 - Gillian Smithies

Three Homeless Strangers (Any age/sex) An integral part of play, they are a small gang of strangers who regularly meet together. Three contrasting personalities (armed with their trolley of random items) combined create madness, although very much real they have this dark magical quality about them that stirs trouble. The three will be key to the flow of the piece, moving set and creating sound/movement and using puppets.

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Homeless Stranger 2 - Anne Nunn

Three Homeless Strangers (Any age/sex) An integral part of play, they are a small gang of strangers who regularly meet together. Three contrasting personalities (armed with their trolley of random items) combined create madness, although very much real they have this dark magical quality about them that stirs trouble. The three will be key to the flow of the piece, moving set and creating sound/movement and using puppets.

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Homeless Stranger 3 - Sarah Mullins

Three Homeless Strangers (Any age/sex) An integral part of play, they are a small gang of strangers who regularly meet together. Three contrasting personalities (armed with their trolley of random items) combined create madness, although very much real they have this dark magical quality about them that stirs trouble. The three will be key to the flow of the piece, moving set and creating sound/movement and using puppets.

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Macbeth (for 23rd May) - Troy Chessman

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Director - Troy Chessman

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Stage Manager - Clare Pinnock

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Lighting - Simon Waller

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Sound - Ian Santry

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Set Design and Construction - John Godliman

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Continuity - Jill Payne

Runners Up Trophy Elmbridge Drama Festival - 2015
Best Actor Mark Humble Elmbridge Drama Festival - 2015
Best Actress Caroline Ross Elmbridge Drama Festival - 2015
Adjudicators Award Troy Chessman AETF Eastern Area Semi-Final - 2015