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Review: Macbeth, by The Chiltern Shakespeare Company
THE opening performance of Macbeth by the Chiltern Shakespeare Company proved you do not have to be a professional theatre company to put on a hugely entertaining and involving show.
The first night gathered an audience of 350 people at the lands of the Hall Barn.
Lawrence Green and Louise Mappley played the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth with passion and truth, captivating everyone’s attention.
Although labelled as “amateurs”, the couple’s performance was of top quality. Mr Green has played the roles of Lysander, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Romeo in previous CSC shows and is currently studying under Alasdair Middleton at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Lady Macbeth was the second appearance of Ms Mappley in a CSC production. Last year she played the part of Paulina in The Winter’s Tale. Apart from her roles with CSC, she has been part of several other Shakespeare plays.
The Three Witches staged by Nicola Metcalfe, Dana Kidson and Sarah Wilson have also displayed quite an impressive act. Their costumes were the most remarkable of the show, and their performance of a great professionalism.
But the crowd’s favourite part of the play was the one involving the 13-year-old Alexander Northwood. The young amateur actor played Macduff’s Son and prompted the audience to raise vividly with enthusiastic applause, after his impressive scene with Julia Carter (Lady Macduff).
Alexander has delivered an inspiring performance in both words and actions as he trying to escape the desperate fate he and his mother both face.
The young actor is a keen member of Young Theatre and has been in solid productions such as One For the Road, winner at the Henley Drama Festival in 2010.
Jim and Liz Machacek, a retired couple from Penn, have been to every single production of CSC since their first show at the Hall Barn in 1989. “We like to support the local amateur Shakespeare group”, said Mrs Machacek.
According to the couple, one of the most exciting features of this year’s production was the set. On the contrary of all previous performances, where the set was only made of some plants, this year the public had the opportunity to see a proper castle built on the grounds of the Hall Barn.
“Much better set than usual”, highlighted Mr Machacek.
Mrs Machacek was happy with the company’s choice for their 2012 summer show. “They tend to do comedies. So this is actually quite a departure, to do Macbeth. We are pleased that they are doing something different”, she said.
Macbeth has been on Hall Barn, Beaconsfield, since June 13, and will be on until June 16, and from June 20 to 23. Profits from the event will be donated towards Ian Rennie Grove House Hospice. For further information and bookings, call 08700 667 720 or visit their website www.chiltern-shakespeare.co.uk