Monday, July 10, 2006

Macbeth miracle

Knew the fates couldn't be that cruel! We've found a transcript of the ABC feature on Macbeth broadcast a couple of days ago, with Jennifer Ehle, Mois├ęs Kaufman and Lynn Cohen. Still can't find the video although it is probably lurking online somewhere via ABC's subscription video-on-demand service.

This is just the beginning, you must read the whole thing.

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) Let me start with you, Miss Ehle. You look a little bit different when I saw you a few nights ago. You don't look like Lady Macbeth at all. How in the heaven's name did you prepare for this part? I don't suppose this is one of those parts were you find your inner Lady Macbeth to speak of it and bring that out.

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

Well, you follow the story. So, I guess, she does emerge. I never wanted to come at it as a applying a Lady Macbeth. I had received ideas about who she was, even though I hadn't ever really paid much attention to the play. I didn't believe in what I, I had read it and I had seen it. But, I never found her very interesting. Because, she'd always seemed like not quite a real person to me. And, then, when I knew that Moises was doing this at The Public. I sat down and read the play and found that I really, really liked her. And, that she wasn't at all who I had ever believed her to be.

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) You liked her?

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

I do. I like her.

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) You made, you made her very interesting, I must say. What did you, was there a psychological key to this famous monster?

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

No, well, I don't think, I mean, I think, she is a monster. Of course, anybody who kills another human being and cold blooded is a monster. But, I don't think that, you should be able to be in the room with her and not be aware that she's a monster. I think, that's a true monster, isn't it?

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) That's what makes it so frightening?

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

Yes.

GRAPHICS: SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK TAKES PLACE EACH SUMMER IN NYC'S CENTRAL PARK

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) There wasn't some thought like, this is one who has to be in control or just has to have...

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

She just, if they just can do this one little thing then, life would be okay.

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) Ah.

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

It's just, just one little thing. And, it's a horrible thing. And, she knows it's a horrible thing. But, just, if we do this, then, for the rest of our life, we will be so happy. And, we will have...

GRAPHICS: PERFORMANCES ARE FREE

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) Just a little murder. And, then...

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

Just a little murder and then, we'll be fine. And, it, unfortunately, I think she would be capable of doing that. But, he is not. And, so, since he is not, their marriage falls apart, everything falls apart. And so, she loses everything because he can't live with the guilt.

GRAPHICS: 1ST COME, 1ST SERVED BASIS

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) So, she made that little mistake in logic?

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

Yeah.

BILL BLAKEMORE (ABC NEWS)

(OC) How to live a happy life?

JENNIFER EHLE (ACTRESS

And, she believed that he wanted. I mean, he's the one who first broaches it. And, she believes, she knows that he doesn't have the backbone, the spine to kill. And, so she says, 'I will back you up. I will give you the result that you need. Wherever you have gaps, I will fill it in." And, she makes that vow and she follows through and does it. And, it's a terrible, terrible mistake.

Read on, I say! We've also got a transcription of the Charlie Rose interview with Liev Schreiber, which can be viewed via Google Video for free.

To the roundup. David A. Rosenberg of Backstage sees the Macbeths as a "chic power couple", modelled on the Bushes. Theatrescene's Jenifer Braun also picks up on the "smooth, WASPy" element. The Playgoer thinks the politicising of Macbeth is appropriate, cf the NYT review. But he's ambivalent about the glam approach to Lady M. In contrast, Robert Cashill of Live Design finds that "the hair color, and the pink and purple gowns designed for her by Michael Krass, softened the actress in a surprising way, and made her turn toward plotting and conspiracy all the more chilling". He calls her an "iron butterfly". longdeadturkey liked her "deliberately odd" interpretation, though opinions among his companions varied. astamate admires both leads' "nuanced performances" though he would've liked more spookiness, while Boulon Jones says that this Macbeth was "by far the best Shakespeare production" ever seen, and gives a lovely description of the ambiance. Finally, darklyscarlett's review is too good not to quote:

Lady Macbeth always reminded me of a calculating society wife who feeds her husbands ambitions then is completely ill-equipped to handle the violent practicalities of political scheming, mayhem and murder. She expends so much energy throwing a rug over abyss of his madness in public that it's inevitable that she falls into her own with a wail. In a PR sense, they're pretty savvy, but not too astute.

On stage, Lieve Schrieber and Jennifer Ehle did look the consummate power partnership; Charles Isherwood of The New York Times, in his review, compared them to a highly-groomed Hollywood golden couple, "Brad and Angelina granting interviews in iambic pentameter."

Absolutely loved her. Thought that, especially during an uneven first act, she blew Liev right off the stage. Though this was a very different portrayal; there wasn't an undercurrent of malevolence and rage in her character as she goes insane ("Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!" comes out in grief and disbelief, more than anything). But in the end, it didn't matter. She's got an indelible stage presence, no pun, and a beautiful delivery. Didn't hurt that, with the strawberry-blond hair in gorgeous gowns, she looked like an amalgam of Kate Winslet, Gillian Anderson, and Meryl Streep.

Oh yeah, up-and-coming Canadian actress Laura Regan is one of us.

No comments: