Theatre Review: Macbeth at HART

Image courtesy of HART

There is no play with more of a reputation than Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In fact, it is the root of the most legendary of all theater superstitions. Somewhere along the lines it was deemed that Macbeth the play (much like Macbeth the man) was cursed, and that anyone who says the name aloud in a theater (unless doing the actual play) is bringing all manner of bad luck. Haywood Arts Regional Theater has long been a success, so perhaps such curses don’t give them pause. Instead of shrinking from Macbeth, HART presents a visually stunning production of the Bard’s shortest tragedy.

Three epic stone pillars fill the stage, drawing up images of Stonehenge and its mystical mysteries. The play is set in Scotland; Francis Davis, Christy Bishop and Susan Rudniak bring on the “double, double, boil and trouble” effectively, without being plagued by witch stereotypes. In fact, most of what we consider to be a “witch” in today’s world, was derived from Shakespeare’s interpretation of them in Macbeth.

The long and the short of the play is about power, control, lust and revenge. All are great ingredients for the conniving of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth that leads to the murder of the King, Duncan, and the revenge that is carried out by MacDuff. The bodies stack up, as the tensions mount toward a final battle for control.

The show enlists some major talent to carry out this tale. David Hopes is a regal and refined Duncan. Michael Beadle’s Banquo is a charming counter balance to David Sebren’s Macbeth. Kristin Leigh Daniel is excellent as Lady Macbeth, and gives humor and compassion to one of theater’s finest female villains. HART regulars Tom Dewees and John Winfield take on a multitude of smaller roles in the show, and providing a solid backbone to much of the drama and action. In a double-threat turn, Adam Kampouris plays MacDuff with a possessed passion, and also choreographed the dazzling broad sword combat sequences.

Steve Lloyd has directed a stellar cast in a beautifully rendered production. Tony DiBernardo’s set design is a wonder to behold. Many of the spectacular costumes were rented, but a good many come from HART’s extensive stock, gathered over the company’s three decades. All elements blend seamlessly together, and the results are as professional a production as you could hope to see of this legendary tale.

Macbeth continues through Sunday, Nov. 2, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday. $18- $22.

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About Jeff Messer
playwright, actor, director and producer, Jeff Messer has been most recently known as a popular radio talk show host. He has been a part of the WNC theatre scene for over 25 years, and actively works with and supports most of the theatres throughout the region. Follow me @jeffdouglasmess

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