Before we begin, let’s get this out of the way right here and now. In Korda Artistic Productions latest play Macbeth, Shakespeare’s iconic Scottish protagonist turned antagonist is a woman. Maybe it’s the way actress Fay Lynn portrayed the title character or maybe it’s the stunning vision from directors Martin Ouellette and Sean Westlake, but at this point I can’t see Macbeth in any other fashion. Macbeth will now and forever be the version they presented here at Kordazone. Now that this is out of the way, let’s move on.
Ouellette and Westlake took the classic Shakespearean tale, gave it a post-apocalyptic setting, stripped the genders out of it and came out swinging. The end result is a play that not only pleases on a visual level, but it also adds new dynamics to a play that already boasts multiple dynamics in its original form. Right from the moment you walk in, you’ll quickly be aware that this is not the same -old-same-old. The set design is big, bold and very unique. The staging uses the traditional stage area, as well as a cat walk that travels to the other end of the room to a small white stage that serves as the castle. This setup allows for viewing at multiple angles and brings the sword-fighting to the forefront, literally, just inches from the audience.
The sword fighting in this show is superior to anything we’ve seen in Windsor before. It was real steel on steel as swords flew through the air crashing in glorious loud and resonant thuds.
The casting for this show is spot on, with Fay Lynn and Emma Amlin leading the cast as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively. Dean Valentino was a glorious Macduff, Clinton Hammond was a powerful Banquo and the three witches were brilliant.
You could sense the joy Fay Lynn had when she was on stage. When she needed to be violent and rough she pulled through with little effort, and when she needed to be tender and caring, her Macbeth was a character you could most certainly trust. I took a shining to the elegantly dressed versions of Fay and Emma when they were the Lord and Lady of Scotland in their regal setting.
A really nice touch is a clever use of photographic projection that allowed the ghost of Banquo to return to haunt Macbeth at the banquet in Act Three. A terrified Macbeth sees him, but the apparition is invisible to his guests – it was reminiscent of the giant projections of Big Brother in the Gorge Orwell movie Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Shakespeare might not be for everyone, but this post-apocalyptic vision gave the show some life and character beyond the traditional theatre setting. It allowed for some powerful Mad Max moments and some really nifty costumes that combined sports equipment with chain maille, leather and assorted pieces one could gather after the apocalypse.
Everyone involved in this show has not only taken risks with the production and its unique presentation, but they’ve brought Shakespeare to a totally different plain. Shakespearean connoisseurs will most likely love this take on the classic play, while the casual and curious will no doubt find more than a few elements to rave about.
The show continues tonight through to November 3, with shows Thursday through Sunday. This Saturday (Oct. 27) the cast and crew want to turn Kordazone into the Thunderdome. It’s being billed as Road Warrior Night where the audience is invited to come dressed in their most outrageous Mad Max, Road Warrior costumes. Tickets are on sale online and at the box office.
Produced by Alexandra Hristoff
Directed by Martin Ouellette and Sean Westlake
Fay Lynn – Macbeth
Emma Amlin – Lady Macbeth
Dean Valentino – Macduff
Clinton Hammond – Banquo
Nicole Clark – Malcolm
Ezra Poku-Christian – Ross
Kerri Galloway – Angus
Zephyr – Witch 1, Old Man, Murderer, Doctor
Cindy Pastorius – Witch 2, Lady Macduff, Murder, Messenger
Alexandra Hristoff – Witch 3, Murderer, Gentlewoman
Matt Froese – Duncan, Porter
Jennifer Desaulniers – Fleance, Son of Macduff
Colin Zorzit – Seyton
Carly Morrison-Ouellette – Siward
Kamilah Poku-Christian – Young Siward
Lighting Design by Martin Ouellette and Carter Hind Dersch
Fight Choreography by Sean Westlake
Set Design, Props and Costumes by Sean Westlake and Martin Ouellette
Stage Manager – Jeremy Marynewich