Theater Zuidpool’s Macbeth | Thalia Hall | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
This is a past event.
When: Aug. 21-22 2016
Price: $28-$48
This is how Shakespeare's company might've done Macbeth if only they'd had the electric guitars. In town briefly under the aegis of Chicago Shakespeare Theater—as part of year-long Shakespeare 400 Chicago festivities—Belgium's Theater Zuidpool exposes an unexpected affinity between overwrought Jacobean drama and wild-eyed punk, with a concert-style performance of the Scottish tragedy. It isn't easy to sit through. The score by Mauro Pawlowski and Tijs Delbeke is dissonant, intentionally grating, and only gets louder and faster on its way to the final crash—as if, like the murderous Macbeth himself (Jorgen Cassier), it finds itself in bloody noise "stepp'd in so far" that returning to aural calm "were as tedious as go o'er." Diction breaks down as things heat up. Humor is pretty much confined to Wouter van Kaam's rendition of the Porter's speech, featuring a phallic banjo. And there's not a great deal to look at given the monochromatic, contemporary costumes and the tethered-to-mikes presentation. But Zuidpool's rock ferocity expresses the grotesque sensibilities that took hold in Shakespeare's writing and society after the death of Queen Elizabeth I—and that clearly aren't dead yet. —Tony Adler



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