Expect a lively, original production of Macbeth – and a haunting one – in the newly renovated Space Theatre at the Denver Center. Because what else would you expect from a play that begins with three witches chanting incantations on a spooky heath and then setting the entire plot in motion by bringing out the murderous instincts of an apparently brave and upright protagonist, Macbeth — he whom actors fear to name because of the curse attached to that word?
“Whenever anyone directs, they have an interpretation,” says director Robert O’Hara, who’s also an up-and-coming playwright. “I’m interested in investigating what world this play exists in where you can openly talk to witches and why there are consequences. It’s a play that basically has a couple of people talking to witches and then the downfall of the murderer. The trajectory is very simple, but the play moves in all these quick, violent, and political jumps. Macbeth is offing all these people and having to deal with the consequences of his actions immediately. It’s very cinematic.”
O’Hara’s all-male production is set in the Pit of Acheron to which Hecate, ruler of the witches, at one point summons the creepy three, and the players are all warlocks, who ritualistically enact the story of Macbeth every year, just as, since medieval times, some cultures annually mount the Passion of the Christ. So the entire story is told from the perspective of the witches, and the actors have the fluid, almost shape-shifting task of playing warlocks who are playing the human characters — and that includes two women, the vicious Lady Macbeth and Lady Macduff, slaughtered with her small children by Macbeth’s hirelings.
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