Macbeth brings death to life

Thunder cracks and the pitch-black theatre lights up with a flash. What simply appear to be rocks on the stage begin to move. Three figures rise from the rocks, cackling. The Weird Sisters, played by Veronica Hays, Alex Lane, and Ana McGrath, open the “RAM-bunctious” theater department’s fall production of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

With fantastic sets, cast, and special effects, this production was an overall impressive one. The tragic play is one of Shakespeare’s darkest and most powerful works. Set in Scotland, the tragedy tells the story of a brave Scottish general, Macbeth, who receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland.

MacBeth sets out to become the king at the expense of many lives. The gore in this play is more than Robinson drama has ever seen, and leaves the audience on the edge of their seats with their hands over their eyes. Characters spit blood, take swords to the heart, and lose their heads in this suspenseful play. The actors went through choreographed fight training and performed as if they were truly in battle.

The fight scenes, which most of the cast members played an important role in throughout the show, were incredibly believable. As cast members fought, they grunted and yelled in pain to make the audience enticed by the violence.

A couple particular stand out moments were those of actors RJ Pratt and Maddy Hanton. Pratt, playing Porter, who intersected the play after Act II with some comic relief in a rather tense moment. Hanton, playing Lady MacDuff, released a blood curdling scream in Act II that left the audience stunned and covered with goose bumps.

Matthew Ross did a fantastic job fulfilling the role of the conflicted-turned-evil Macbeth. Roxy Matten was a wonderfully diabolical Lady Macbeth. The chemistry between these two was undeniable and added to the drama of the play. Lady Macbeth’s devilish influence on Macbeth was nearly convincing to the audience that was so strongly rooting for the good in MacBeth.

The portrayal of Scotland’s rocky nature was well done and authentic. In addition to the scenery, the background lights went perfectly with the intense music and different acts. The entire stage was meticulously thought out, which is a factor that brought Shakespeare’s writing to life.

Another factor to truly bring the audience back in time was the costumes that each character wore. The actors who played larger roles had a few costume changes that fit with each scene they acted in. Each costume well-suited the persona of the character wearing them.

A striking factor that deserves praise is the makeup done on the cast members, especially the three witches. Each one of the frightening characters had an appearance that was nightmarish, but extremely well done. Considering all the violence that occurred on stage, there was blood on almost everyone’s hands by the end, which was a factor that added to the accurate portrayal of Shakespeare’s vision.

A downfall in the show was the difficulty in following the plot. For one that does not study Shakespeare, this show was a tricky one to follow. The dialogue was not changed from Shakespeare’s original writing, which can be difficult to comprehend if one is not well versed with the old English style. This difficulty often left audience members flipping through the program for a summary of the current act. However, this does not reflect the actual show, which was extremely well-produced. Perhaps the flaw itself was the selection of the play, but it was executed as professionally as possible.

This production was well crafted considering the excellent cast, set, costumes, gore, and passion put into all the scenes performed. The new drama teacher, Meghan Thrift, has made her mark on the drama department, and the contributors to the show have outdone themselves as always.