Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s Macbeth was good performance with many strong aspects. The play catches the audience’s attention from the beginning with a well-staged fight scene followed by three creepy witches; and never lets it go. Although Macbeth has been produced thousands of times, Director David H. Bell has found a way to update it with a modern twist. Unusually, the production shares a set with another play. Somehow the director has made it work with contemporary military uniforms and weapons.
The main character, Macbeth, was played by Mark L. Montgomery. Mark did a wonderful job of convincing the audience that he was going crazy. Even better than Mark was Lesley Bevan, who played Lady Macbeth. Even though Lady Macbeth wasn’t the main character, Lesley made her seem just as important as Macbeth. Bernard Balbot played the porter. He made everyone in the audience laugh when his character was drunk bringing some humor to the tragedy.
The setting, originally for As You Like IT, was composed of tree-like vines, a chain link fence, and scaffolding that remained the same for the whole play. The fence covered a drum set which was used throughout the play to make scenes seem more dramatic. The lighting really added to the spookiness of Macbeth. The costumes were made to fit into this post-industrial set along the makeup. It seems that everyone behind the scenes at this play made their part work. The way that this performance was put together was convincing.
Overall this version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was good. Something that was disappointing was that many of the actors played multiple characters. This got confusing after a while. Also a few of the actors lacked enough emotion. I would recommend this play, because of everything that went well, such as the amazingly choreographed fight scenes. For anyone who is looking for a present day Shakespeare tragedy, this is your play....