Photo by David Hou
There's a burly Macbeth playing the part in High Park this season and it's working. Hugh Thompson as the unhinged Scottish king-killer looks authentic to the era of the real Macbeth (11th century) despite the fusion wardrobe. Canstage, in collaberation with York University, and headed by new director Ker Wells, have crafted a fast-paced and bloody ride. The production seems to point at Macbeth's lack of progeney as the root of his murderous ambition and it is the child killing that leaves you most disturbed. Macbeth runs on alternating nights with The Taming of the Shrew until Sept 1 at the High Park Amphitheatre. Arrive early unless you are lucky enough to have reserved seating.
Macbeth was a real person, plucked by Shakespeare from history book Holinshed's Chronicles and tempered to fit the bard's themes. Nicknamed the Red King, he reigned from 1047-1057. Here are some other incarnations for your enjoyment. (In order, they are Orson Welles, Patrick Stewart, Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.)