On Tuesday 13 November 2012, the Year 14 Drama & Theatre Studies class, travelled to the Lyric Theatre with Mrs Porter to watch the latest stage version of ‘Macbeth’.
The impressive architecture of the new Lyric building impressed the group but more was still to come. As the girls took their seats in a packed auditorium, they were immediately mesmerised by the giant, bulking cliff -edge precipice that filled the stage for this production.
Director Lynne Parker’s fascinating, Northern Ireland-inspired revival was dominated by the ‘Weird Sisters’, in the guise of three flinty females who, for decades, kept the wheels turning while their men were away in prison, on bloody excursions or in the grave. Beady eyed, ever present, they kept one foot in the domestic round of cooking, cleaning and organising while firmly planting the other in the realm of the supernatural.
It was thrilling to watch Eleanor Methven and Carol Moore, founder members in 1983 of Belfast’s all-female Charabanc Theatre Company. With Claire Rafferty as the third member of this deadly trio, they constituted the dominant dramatic force, moulding the stealthy ambition of Stuart Graham’s charismatic Thane, who speaks and treads softly across the gravel shards of Diana Ennis’s split-level basalt plateau set.
As his partner in power, love and sexual attraction, Andrea Irvine emerged as a nervy, troubled Lady Macbeth, as strongly connected to the spirit world as the witches themselves. Especially impressive was the spectre of Michael Condron’s blood-soaked, grinning Banquo which inspired genuine terror. While armies marched and deadly plots were hatched, the miraculous colours of the aurora borealis bled and flowed across suspended inflated screens high above.
The Year 14 girls were also excited when Carol Moore agreed to visit school for a post-show discussion which would assist them with their research for the written paper.
Carol spoke at length to the group about the directorial decisions which governed many aspects of the production and happily answered questions that helped to explain and clarify some of the theatrical elements.
We are immensely grateful to Carol for her support and guidance.