Red Rose Chain at Sutton Hoo
The fantastic Red Rose Chain Theatre Company presented Macbeth in their new Theatre in the Forest site at Sutton Hoo – what a unique and incredible experience.
In true Red Rose Chain fashion, the actors and volunteers are with the audience from the moment we arrive making us feel not only welcome, but included and creating a warm, friendly and wonderful atmosphere in the most beautiful surroundings.
Macbeth is a sombre tale of what can happen to those who put ambition and power at the top of their agenda. Macbeth who was a Scottish general was told by three witches that he would become the King of Scotland. Consumed by greed and pushed on by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the throne. Wracked with guilt and constant paranoia and borderline madness, he murders more and more people in the hope this shields him from suspicion. There is a civil war and in the bloodbath Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are killed.
This seemingly ‘gloomy’ play about madness and murders is utterly transformed into an energetic, dynamic, totally transfixing drama played out by a group of talented young actors.
All carried out in the Shakespearean language, which is a challenge in itself to both learn and perform, the performance has a modern feel with the fun set of half a minibus as part of the castle, the funky costumes and then the music! You wouldn’t expect there to be music and songs in Macbeth, but in this production there is. It’s not a musical, the songs and music are timed and performed not to deter away from the tragedy of the play, however it brings a lightness and humour in the right moments. And there was humour in this production, as well as gasps, sadness and wonder to take you through a variety of emotions as you watch the story unfold while the sun is setting.
Added into this incredible performance are the depiction of the three witches by spectacular puppets which take three actors to move. Their exoskeletal form is fascinating and their imaginative designs are stunning.
The entertainment value is off the scale as the attention to detail of so many subtle elements of the play, set and costumes to keep the audience enthralled, from people popping out of BBQs and barrels, dance moves from Beyoncé, the body in the wheel barrow….. – it’s filled with seemingly random elements which are difficult to describe but are a delight to see. It also included audience participation and breaking the fourth wall.
Everything about this performance was amazingly brilliant. The actors were all fantastic and completely engaging. The fight scenes were realistic and well choreographed. This is a highly recommended production and I urge to make the time for it.
Macbeth at Sutton Hoo is playing until 20th August.
- Macbeth – Jack Heydon
- Lady Macbeth (and others) – Olu Adaeze
- Banquo (and others) – Ailis Duff
- Macduff/Witch– Matt Penson
- Duncan/Porter – Darren Latham
- Malcom – Rei Mordue
- Gentlewoman/Murderer – Ellie Smith
- Fleance/Sergeant – Charlie Drane
- Donalbain/Sergeant – Phoebe Bell
- Witch/Young Siward – Ted Newborn
- Sergeant/Cream Faced Loon – Harrison Drane