Tonight’s performance of Macbeth at The Globe Theatre did not disappoint.
Not only did I experience a play along with the unwashed masses, but I actually enjoyed nearly every moment of it. The play was well-cast, the effects realistic, the humorous interjections much-appreciated. (As were Macbeth’s arms and abs, but that’s neither here nor there.)
The most amusing aspect of the evening involved the area surrounding the stage where we stood. It was covered by a tarp suspended several feet off the ground and scattered with the kind of symbolic slits that Judy Chicago makes her living off of. The slits were for our heads, allowing us to be coated with blood and other fake bodily fluids from the neck up, but with the tarp protecting our clothes.
To say that the set-up summoned thoughts of passing through the birth canal is an understatement. We emerged from the comfortable darkness below the tarp only to be assaulted with some of Shakespeare’s most vitriolic lines and violent battles. (Cue extended metaphor about life.) Not to mention that Macbeth is fraught with references about fertility and birth. His misunderstanding over MacDuff’s birth ultimately contributes to his downfall, after all.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,To the last syllable of recorded time;And all our yesterdays have lighted foolsThe way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,And then is heard no more. It is a taleTold by an idiot, full of sound and fury,Signifying nothing.— Macbeth Act 5, scene 5