[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of the Thespihonest Theatre Company’s production of William Shakespeare “Macbeth” running through October 30 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre.
What could be more relevant in this runup to the mid-term elections and in the ever-growing destruction of the last presidential election than this 600-year-old play about a Scottish king and his malevolent wife? Well, it appears not much. As usual, William Shakespeare is right on the money…
This particular production of “Macbeth” by the quixotic Thespihonest Theatre Company puts quite a spin on this dark and violent play. The lead is played by Lo Lundeen, who is absolutely not an 11th century Scottish general…much more like a 21st century woman in fact. But they take on this allusive psycho as an intriguing blend of ancient and modern.
The rest of the casting is as untraditional. The murdered King Duncan is the excellent Rebecca Swan, the assassins are compelling and understandably female, and one of the witches is a bloke. But in the end, the cleverness of this casting technique by a company of actors hell bent on bringing classics to the masses with the beautiful truth of a gender-bent world casts such a spell that we see past it all. Gender is innocuous, unfettered, invisible even. It is the intention of every character, unrobed as it were, that survives. And this is always the point of Shakespeare, written as it was in the age of disguised gender, sexuality and hidden motivation. In a time when all the world met in London and brought with it the mysteries of race and trade and the treasures of the previously unknown.
It never ceases to amaze me how Shakespearean our world is still.
Thespihonest Theatre Company’s “Macbeth” is a full-on, no holds barred, electric interpretation of one of the most powerful plays ever written.
The actors hold nothing back, investing every ounce of themselves in this production. Each role seems as riveting as the next, and it becomes much more an ensemble piece because of it. Everyone is brilliant, every line delivered beautifully and they have a deep understanding of this layered and effusive text.
This is a young theatre company populated with young actors, so it is particularly wonderful that they hold such reverence for this work. The world turns many millions of times in 600 hundred years, and yet it seems we are back where we started. Perhaps by reliving our foul follies we can learn a little more with every rotation? One can only hope.
I thoroughly recommend Thespihonest Theatre Company’s “Macbeth” at the Hudson Guild Theatre. And as the nights draw in and the L.A. fog appears, the trio of witches, the prophetic three sisters, will undoubtedly become all the more real. Bravo!!!
Through Sunday, October 30
Friday, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 7pm
6539 Santa Monica Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90038