MACBETH To 23 August.


by William Shakespeare adapted by Andy Barrow.

Oddsocks Productions Tour to 23 August 2011.
Runs 2hr 15min One interval.
Review: Alan Geary 8 July.

Oddsocks deliver yet another winner.
Despite the threat of some wetly challenging weather – in the event it stayed fine – there was a good turnout for the Scottish play from Oddsocks. No one was disappointed; even by the company’s past standards this was a sparkling production from Andy Barrow and his team.

The script was so densely packed with gags you couldn’t afford to relax. Even the programme added to the merriment. And there were some brilliantly dodgy special effects: the dagger – as in “Is this a dagger that I see before me?” – was dangling like a fish on an obvious piece of string; and near the end Lady Macbeth was taken apart and put in a bag.

As always, there was great involvement with the audience before and during the play. A reluctant bloke was roped in to play Malcolm simply because he knew a bloke called Malcolm. But the cast of five was augmented not only by press-ganging but by life-sized puppets, masks and disembodied voices.

Barrow is a brilliant comic performer, a master of timing and the ad-lib real and rehearsed. He gives Macbeth a Glaswegian accent – the stereotyping in this one is outrageous; questions might be asked in the Scottish Parliament – and he gives the audience his, by now, trademark cartwheel even though it has nothing to do with character or plot. And he is clad in a kilt.

At the same time, as always, he was being your vain and seedily incompetent actor-manager trying, like everyone else, to up-stage the others.

Kathryn Levell is a strong actor with apparently effortless projection. Her Lady Macbeth is a shrill and spoilt chav. Andrew McGillan (on the evidence of the programme, a genuine Scot), Bethan Nash and Kevin Kemp add to the confusion.

But amid the mayhem it’s strange and touching how faithful to the Shakespeare original Oddsocks invariably are.

Cast: Andy Barrow, Kevin Kemp, Andrew McGillan, Bethan Nash, Kathryn Levell.

Director: Andy Barrow.

2011-07-12 00:32:16

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