On June first the Stratford Shakespeare Festival got it’s 57th Season underway. It started as it always does with much pomp and ceremony, the Stratford red carpet was rolled out for several parliamentarians and other guests to opening night. What better way is there to open the season than with what it arguably Shakespeare’s greatest work…Macbeth. The only way to make this better is by welcoming back one of Stratford’s greatest to the stage. Having Colm Feore back playing the title role is a really treat.
I have had the opportunity to read some of the reviews that are already out there and I have to say that I disagree with the majority of them. Many of them disliked the show for the same reason’s I loved it. It was right after the lights went out in the theatre and music started that I knew I’d adore this production.
This season Macbeth is directed by the Festivals Artistic Director (Des McAnuff) who is perhaps best know for his other work, namely Jersey Boys. The music that swells and becomes more lively before the shots go off you know that you’re in the continent of Africa (yeah, this production doesn’t take place in Scotland). I wasn’t all that thrilled about Macbeth until I heard that the setting would be changed to Africa, and I must say I wasn’t disappointed by this change.
Colm Feore was amazing as Macbeth but then was out done by Yanna McIntosh’s portrayal of Lady M. The sleepwalking scene was the most amazing thing I’ve seen on the Festival stage. As she walked out on the stage violently rubbing her hands I was on the edge of my seat. The other person worth mentioning is Tom Rooney (this is only his second season at the Festival) as the Porter. I enjoyed Rooney last season but as the Porter he has out done himself. I’m interested to see how he takes on Puck later this season in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
This is really a show that shouldn’t be missed. Take the opportunity to come to Stratford and see this amazing production of Macbeth. It runs until October 31 at the Festival Theatre.