Friday, February 29, 2008

Histriomastix: By the pricking of my thumb…:

My friend Ian McCulloch played the title role, and he and I worked out a totally amateurish but brutal sword fight in which we nearly murdered each other. Heavy swords, bulky wooden shields, no training, fat blood packs taped in hidden places and lots of fucking awesome fake fighting. (I say "amateurish" but my buddy Ian reminds me that we freakin' rocked a 1988 regional theater competition and walked away with a fight-choreography award.)

Anyway, this is a long, personal preamble to say that I am very familiar with Macbeth, love it, and Rupert Goold's production at BAM (through March 22) is quite, quite excellent. Besides having a rock-solid cast led by the seasoned Patrick Stewart, it is visually and conceptually right-on. It uses a Stalinist framing concept, but lets it drift into metaphor in a lovely, unforced way. And it's actually scary.