Theater Info for the Washington DC region

St. Andrew’s MacBeth

By • Oct 29th, 2007 • Category: Cappies

Lady Macbeth (Kimi Hugli) tries to get her husband, Macbeth (Drew Singer) to come to his senses after he sees the ghost of Banquo.

Bagpipes and plaid sashes alert the audience that indeed, this is the famed Scottish play. Shakespeare’s Macbeth is widely known not only for being the Bard’s shortest work for the stage but also for the sinister nature of its plot and the aura of bad luck that comes to surround those involved in the production. Happily, St. Andrew’s cast was spared from this pattern of misfortune, and was able to spin the tragedy sans calamity from the opening lines of the witches to the eerie closing scene. Shakespeare’s play explores the destruction that comes with murder and guilt, the struggle for power, fate, and the proximity of evil.

The cast handled the difficult language admirably. Lines were not forgotten. Levels were sometimes used, which did wonders for a number of scenes. The scenes were visually attractive, and the focus of some actors was impressive.

The audience appreciated Drew Singer‘s intensity and commitment as the title character. At times he recited his lines as though they were his vernacular. Singer was one of the few actors on stage who made use of facial expressions to convey the emotional turmoil that so characterizes the play. The Lady Macbeth of St. Andrew’s production, played by Kimi Hugli, was strangely feminine and sweet, and the femininity created an intriguing chemistry between the couple. Hugli, too, portrayed much through facial expressions, and her focus at moments of heightened emotion was praiseworthy. William Moodie offered up a haunting version of Macduff, one plagued by disturbances. Neither his pitch nor his emotional state varied much, which was an interesting character choice.

While many in the cast lacked commitment and energy, Vishal Narang was positively full of life and brought energy to the production, without overpowering the title characters. He proved to be both exceedingly entertaining and truthful, a difficult thing to pull off. Narang clearly understood his lines, and recited them confidently and with humorous inflection. The various officers and attendants were a treat to watch when the focus was on others – their somber, mimed discussions appeared genuine, and were accented nicely with gesticulations and secretive inclinations of the head. Sarah Danly was the picture of young male exuberance as Macduff’s sword-play enthusiast son. Her tonality was spot-on for a little boy addressing his mother in that time period.

Aileen Hugli, Michael Moodie, and Garrett Upton did a wonderful job with the costumes – they were simple, yet ornate, yet not so ornate that the costumes proved to be a distraction. The colors of the plaid sashes communicated the rank of the wearer easily. The set was likewise simple with some nice detail, and it did not hinder the movement of the actors. The makeup was outstanding for the ghost of Banquo, especially in the blood department. The hand that gave the rugged appearance to Macduff’s face was a skilled one. The tech crew, dressed in unobtrusive black, was quiet and appeared to have operated smoothly.

Macbeth was an ambitious choice in production, and the cast deserves a round of applause for memorizing the difficult lines.

by Allie Lundquist of Yorktown

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