Edinburgh Fringe 2015
Entita Theatre present a physical theatre adaptation of Macbeth that is inventive, and rare in its unique ability to feel fresh and new to the theatre scene.
Edinburgh Fringe Festival is never short of Shakespeare adaptations however finding one as captivating and inventive as Fall is rare. Written by Katie Dunstan and Alex Doble, and directed by Jamie Woods, Entita Theatre present a physical theatre production closely based on Macbeth that makes you forget it is based on Shakespeare at all which is highly impressive, especially given how young the cast are.
All of the elements of the classic Macbeth are there: ambition, power, murder, madness, and of course ghosts. All of which are played out on the trading floor with the situation being summed up by a surprisingly simple prop – a rubix cube. Over the course of the performance the cube is manipulated by our modern day Macbeth until, at the midway point, it is completed signifying his hard work has paid off and everything has fallen into place. He is successful, and happy but then it slips and he begins manipulating the cube back into chaos before it becomes completely red by the end of the performance. There is no way to solve it from this point onwards, the cube or the problems. The rubix cube is a creative way of conveying the situation simply and is also visually interesting.
Movement director Katharine Hardman (also playing Lady Macbeth) has created amazing non-verbal physical sequences which convey a lot, more so than a dialogue scene could. They are brilliantly executed and convey plenty of emotion, inparticular the last fight between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth which is very powerful and full of tension.
The acting is just as impressive as the physicality with each character showing a genuine and relatable personality. All are rather endearing, despite their – sometimes hideous – flaws, creating a tension as the audience begin to genuinely care about each one.
Ioannis Sidiropoulos, plays the slick, slightly underhand Duncan with a wonderful creepiness yet his death is undeserved and creates another layer of tension amidst an already charged atmosphere.
Mark Curley as Macbeth is brilliant at conveying every thought and feeling through the nuances of his body language and plays the despicable victim of circumstance with conviction. While Hardman brings an air of malevolence from the first moment she appears as Lady Macbeth yet there is a warmth to her that lifts her from being simply the 2D villain of the piece.
Francisca Stangel, Vicky Double, and Grace Wranosky do a fantastic job as the three traders/sisters who are torments to Macbeth as he tries to hold it together. Sam Davies as Banquo portrays his horror, and indecision very well – the fight between Banquo and Macbeth is intense and almost difficult to watch as it feels very real.
The descent into madness for both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth is played out with credibility and is nicely understated despite it being the main point of the latter half. The phones are used to brilliant effect as part of many of the physical scenes with the cords playing a big part in conveying things unsaid. Lighting adds great atmosphere and has been designed incredibly well. The soundtrack, by SOHN and mixed by director Jamie Woods, is also atmospheric and exciting, perfectly fitting the performance.
As someone who is very familiar with Shakespeare it is fantastic to view an adaptation that can blow me away but that is exactly what Fall has done. Even the most hardened Shakespeare fan has to see the beauty of this piece. Knowledge of Macbeth is not needed to enjoy and appreciate Fall however, it is an incredible piece of its own standing and shows Entita Theatre to be a talented company.