“Macbeth: A Tragically Musical Comedy is an explosive musical that will have Shakespeare dancing in his grave. A pop-rock journey 400 years in the making!”
This original production written and directed by Dominic Serov and Sabrina Ekstein re-imagines Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, transforming it into a tragically hilarious and upbeat musical. Sitting in the second row of Macquarie’s lighthouse theatre, a seat over from the ‘splash zone’, we settled in for a night of bewitched bloody betrayal, unexpected love affairs, comical musical numbers and sock puppets.
Macbeth: A Tragically Musical Comedy is a fantastical modern retelling for contemporary audiences. With gender bending queer excellence, the cast brings new life to Shakespeare’s characters with mischief and fun. Set in Australasia Scotland, King Duncan’s court of Dunsinane has been infiltrated by a witchy prophecy as Macbeth and his wifely accomplice Lady Macbeth redefine regicide. The musical uses current social commentary to subvert power structures and twist the original storyline into a shocking series of events. Music Director Dominic Serov composed witty original musical numbers accompanied by a live band hiding in the wings, filling the theatre with vibrant melodies and drama. However, the live accompaniment did sometimes overshadow the lyrics and dialogue on stage with momentary microphone malfunctions. Those temporary moments only added to the charm of this original student-led production.
Macquarie’s musical society president Sophie Szecsodi portrays Macbeth like we’ve never seen him before. We see Macbeth not as a man’s man but as a bro’s bro. He’s caught up in a tumultuous bromance with his best friend Banquo, an aspiring stand up comedian. Lady Macbeth played by Sachi dominated the musical with her strong-independent-woman mentality and fearlessness. This Lady Macbeth is not to be messed with, as she is the true Macbeth this time around.
Simon Buchner’s performance as ‘the witches’ set the tone for the whole musical, casting a spell over the cast and audience. His performance was mysterious and alluring, and his presence on stage always led to twisted turns of fate. Claire Garment’s Ross and Madison Leidich’s Lennox stole the show as their undercover secret agent mission turned into something more. Simon Emmerson’s Macduff and his sock puppet was the voice of comedic reason through the musical.
The whole cast ensemble worked cohesively together to bring the audience big song and dance numbers that were fun and entertaining. Each character was a marvellous caricature of their original counterparts, offering humour in times of great betrayal and intrigue. Macbeth: A Tragically Musical Comedy was a refreshing and fun take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Macquarie Musical society did a fantastic job bringing this original production to life. I would advise to make sure not to sit in the splash zone I mentioned earlier or you may get blood on your hands!