Yeadon Town Hall – 12 February 2020
Reviewed by Sally Richmond
Showing at Yeadon Town Hall (where one always receives the warmest of welcomes) – Macbeth, directed by Eric Richard and uniquely performed by only three actors (Rob Goll, Louise Faulkner and Ryan Phillpot) was a most thrilling and delightfully well-crafted production. If ever there was a good example of pathetic fallacy, this week’s treacherous weather really did mirror the haunting madness that was staged inside this well-loved local community hub.
Raw and intense, The Dickens Theatre Company (DTCo), brought a refreshing take on one of ‘The Bard’s’ most popular tragedies. Seeing the intrinsically riveting play unfold, really does remind one that Shakespeare certainly knew how to pen a gripping tale and why it will never lose its appeal.
Right from the get go, strong moments captured and entranced the audience as the depraved Weird Sisters (one actress and two puppets) spouted cryptic babble, foreshadowing the disturbing events that were about to transpire. Through taunting heckles, the deranged ‘trio’ conveyed an essence of danger and unearthly passions.
Falling for the enchanting prophecies, Macbeth, our once ‘brave’ and ‘valiant’ warrior, through a skillful execution of character by Rob Goll, begins to transform into the psychotic paranoid murderer – who we all know is doomed after committing the dreadful deed of genocide.
Manipulating and encouraging our bedevilled fallen hero is Lady Macbeth, played by Louise Faulkner, who beguiles and seduces her husband through unscrupulous suggestions that she expresses with a direct and controlled calm. Lady Macbeth’s slithering manoeuvres of deep desires push Macbeth into a fatal journey of no return and one which can only promise death as it’s final destination. All three actors gave well timed and tuned dramatic portrayals of each and every character they played to a high standard. Every verse and soliloquy was delivered with crystal-clear diction and offered physically committed representations.
This Macbeth (adapted by Ryan Phillpott with music by Paul Higgs) is a sharp, neat and clever version as it had no scenery, just a few hand-made props and costumes – yet the smart direction reached the core and black heart of William Shakespeare’s ‘Scottish’ play. Amusing and witty, the narration and introduction of scenes from ‘The Porter’ made it perfect for schools and a younger audience to access. Ambition, greed, doom and downfall all centre in this marvelously mesmerising psychological study of one man’s debasement, due to his foolish meddling with supernatural evil forces.