Duncan, daggers and death explored at Macbeth production

On Wednesday 20 May, Year 9 enjoyed a performance of Macbeth by ‘Sport for Jove’ at the Seymour Centre. We went to see this incredible production as part of our Shakespeare Unit focusing on Shakespeare’s most haunting play.

The 100-minute performance immersed us in one of the most powerful languages, Shakespeare, in a way that consolidated our knowledge of the disproportionate ambition that Macbeth exhibited which led to the atrocities he committed and, finally, his downfall.

The actors, lighting, language and set really encapsulated the most important aspects of the play, and brought to life the knowledge we had learnt in the classroom. It was an amazing opportunity for Year 9 to experience how our learning can be applied to better understand Shakespeare, and how truly relatable his characters and writing are, maybe except for their murderous natures! The sheer passion from the performers really hooked every student in and even the teachers who accompanied us.

Following this spellbinding adaptation, the students were fortunate to see another version of the powerful play by Bell Shakespeare on Friday 22 May. This production was more interactive with a focus on making Years 9 and 10 laugh at the dynamic of all the actors involved. The Bell Shakespeare production also featured only a few simple props, the sole focus being on the story of Macbeth and his hamartia, or fatal flaw, and how it caused his downfall. This adaptation, with the explanations of the play throughout, allowed for a better understanding of the most important scenes and soliloquies in the play, in preparation for us to finish reading and analysing the play in class.

Seeing two different adaptations enabled us to develop a more well-rounded understanding of this exquisite play, including the creative decisions made by the directors and actors. It really proved how universal Shakespeare’s works are, as well as the variety of ways in which they can be interpreted, proving that there is never one correct answer when it comes to understanding and appreciating Shakespeare.

Jessica Nikolovski

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