having never seen macbeth before, i was impressed by the lady macbeth character. playing her, ehle was elegant and strong, loving and ambitious, smart and hysterical. every line was pitch perfect, taking words that have been acted 1000 times before and could easily turned into cartoonish melodrama, but instead making it sound as smooth and natural as me trying to decide or what to order for dinner or what kind of haircut to get. she felt like a real person who just lacked a conscience about doing awful things. she reminded me (and my friends) a lot of meryl streep, maybe reprising the role from the manchurian candidate. Think needless to say, the interaction between mac and lady mac was exciting.
at first liev was kind of reminding me of previous roles such as the man can, henry V...but then he cranked it up to a whole new level. he was so ON; as the character evolves from thoughtful, ambitious but mostly regretful guy to stark raving lunatic, he is so committed and real and right feeling in every intonation, every glance, every posture, every flying bodily fluid. i can't say i really understand who macbeth was and all his motivation but i could believe he was real and standing in front of me tonight. you just want to keep your eyes on him the whole time and see what's going to happen to him next. i've never felt so involved and moved by any shakespeare drama before. i don't have that much experience, but it is the best i've seen him. what a presence and a master. i'm thinking of seeing this again for the chance to take it all in.
my 5 year old side may miss the slapshtick and bawdy puns of those shakepeare comedies, but the impact of this play and it's performances was a fantastic new discovery that is touching in a whole new way. it's a little harder and longer to warm up to it, but once you catch on it's hypnotic and leaves you wanting more.
just as an aside, my father used to teach english and has taught macbeth and seen it numerous times. he found the performances to be excellent and commented that it was the "clearest" production he had ever seen. i guess parts of it had never made sense to him before, but this production and the performances must have made sense out of it.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Now look at this, a lovely warm review from puck at the Liev Schreiber forum.