Lady Macbeth - The Secret Life

Created by Cor Departure Theatre Ensemble

Director: Dina Hildebrandt
Artistic Direction and Production: Claire Fogal and Thrasso Petras
Script Architects: Claire Fogal and Daniel Lomas
Production Dramaturge: Kate Weiss
Set Design and Construction: Dean Fogal
Lighting Design: Shane Droucker
Sound and Original Composition: Jason Overy
Costume Designer: Erin Monahan
Fight Choreographer: George Hicks
Movement Coach: Dean Fogal
Stage Manager: Nicole Hannah
Technical Directors: Colin Carruthers and Denis Simard

Venue: Studio 16
Dates: 25 October - 3 November 2002

Reviewer: Jane Penistan

Cor Departure presents an interesting introduction to those who are unfamiliar with physical theatre and an introspective presentation of what might have been Lady Macbeth's memories of her life as she died.

Three actors, Camille Gingras, Claire Fogal and Corina Akeson, perform Lady Macbeth, as the girl, the lover and the mature, ambitious and warrior queen. Similarly, three actors, Thrasso Petras, Roari Richardson and Daniel Lomas woo her, love her and marry her. Also appearing in this journey of the mind are her grandmother and Lady Macduff (Kathleen Weiss), her father, and Duncan, King of Scotland (Dean Fogal), who stands in the way of Macbeth's supremacy. Others remembered are also played by members of the company.

Set against black curtains and a bare stage containing only a large bed, the actors move through the dreamlike sequence with controlled and expressive movement. There is some solo speech as well as ensemble speaking. The soundscape is brilliantly designed to evoke the mood of the visual scenes, from mysterious silence through drumbeats and haunting music to the clashing sounds of fighting. The lighting illuminates or shades the action and lays down wonderful appropriate patterns to enhance the changing loci and environment.

The actors do incredibly clever flourishing, spreading and folding the gorgeous, shimmering, golden bedcover. They instantly convert sheets into babes in arms or clothing, with a flick of the hands. They handle their heavy swords and daggers with ease. Essentially, the telling of the story of the passing life of Lady Macbeth is done more with body language than with speech, though this is clear and well modulated. There are symbolic candles to light the way through the darkness and cleansing water to wash away guilt and blood stains.

This investigation into the psyche of Lady Macbeth is a fascinating study, well thought out and executed by Cor Departure.

© 2002, Jane Penistan

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