The Barn Theatre, Southwick Community Centre.
September 7, 8, 9 & 13, 14 & 15, 2000.
by William Shakespeare
Jo Hopper – Weird Sister
Katie Szeless – Weird Sister
Hannah Collis – Weird Sister
David Goodger – Duncan [King of Scotland]
Adrian Kenward – Malcolm [his son]
Tom Griffiths – Donalbain [his son]
Peter Thompson – Lennox [Noble Thane of Scotland]
Hugh Hemmings – Angus [Noble Thane of Scotland]
Derek Fraser – Ross [Noble Thane of Scotland]
Rols Ham-Riche – Seyton
Bob Ryder – Macbeth [General in King Duncan’s army]
David Creedon – Banquo [General in King Duncan’s army]
John Garland – Macduff [Noble Thane of Scotland]
Judith Berrill – Lady Macbeth
Stuart Isaac – Fleance [son of Banquo]
Ron Newman – Old Man / Doctor
Ralph Dawes – First Murderer
Jasper Astle – Second Murderer
Hazel Starns – Lady Macduff
Christopher Brownings – Macduff’s Son
Jane Richards – Gentlewoman
David Goodger – Siward
Tom Griffiths – Young Siward
Assistant Director – Peter Thompson
Stage Manager – Dave Comber
Stage Manager – Dave Collis
ASM – Jean Porter
Lighting – Mike Medway
Sound – Simon Snelling
Set Construction – David Comber
Set Construction – Dave Collis
Set Construction – Brian Box
Set Construction – Mike Davy
Set Painting – Sheila Neesham
Set Painting – Frances Thorne
Properties – Sue Whittaker
Properties – Margaret Davy
Costume Co-ordinator – Sheila Neesham
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Bouchy
Press & Publicity – Rosemary Brown
Press & Publicity – Frances Thorne
Press & Publicity – Adrian Kenward
Press & Publicity – Judith Berrill
Front of House Manager – David Pierce
Front of House Manager – Lucien Bouchy
Front of House Manager – Peter Harrison
Front of House Manager – Tony Muzzall
Box Office – Margaret Murrell
Programme Note #1: Macbeth
“Well, what is Wick’s Macbeth going to be all about?” wrote Director Tony Brownings. “There is no single ‘right’ way of thinking about or performing Macbeth. It has been hugely popular for almost four hundred years and has been performed many thousands of times in very different versions. Millions of words have been written about it since Shakespeare’s time. It is impossible to reach a final answer to the question ‘what is Macbeth all about?’, because the play works on so many different levels. A multitude of interpretations are possible – all with a claim to truth. The play is a kaleidoscope. Every time it is performed or read it reveals different shapes, patterns, meanings and interpretations.
Our Macbeth will be a play that is accessible to all that see it. A fast moving action packed murder story. For those who want to see more, I hope they will find a study of a murderous mind. A play of social and political realism and a play of illusions, showing the effect on human beings of the mysterious or supernatural.
I have been working with Richard Porter, Dave Comber and Mike Medway on the staging and feel to, our production and we have come up with, what we think is an exciting and innovative setting.”
One aim is to give you an historical thriller, delving deep into a murderer’s mind. It will be a play of illusions and symbolism – but above all a tragedy. The ambition of two people resulting in despair and death ….. have a good evening!”
Publicity #1: Macbeth
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: August 24 2000 issue – page 17
Text Header: “Modern parallel explored”
FROM the moment the curtain rises to eerie thunder and lightening at the Barn Theatre next month, the scene will be set for a gripping presentation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth by Wick Theatre Company. Directed by Tony Brownings, this promises to be an exciting, traditional production, with one or two surprises thrown in.
Although the bloody events it causes were written about 400 years ago, they find a modern parallel in present-day upheavals.
A splendid cast includes Bob Ryder as Macbeth, with Judith Berrill as his Lady, John Garland [Macduff], David Creedon [Banquo], David Goodger [Duncan], Adrian Kenward [Malcolm] and Derek Fraser [Ross]. The three witches are played by Jo Hopper, Kati Szeless and Hannah Collis.
Performances are from September 7-9 and 13-15 at the Barn theatre, Southwick Community Centre, Southwick Street. Tickets priced £5 and £6 are available from the box office on 01273 597094.
Review #1: Macbeth
Publication: Shoreham Herald
Publication Data: September 14 2000 issue – page 8
Reviewer: Stephen Critchett
Text Header: “Wick’s Macbeth lives up to its billing”
AUDIENCES at the Barn Theatre are being treated to gripping performances of Macbeth, Shakespeare’s super natural tale of lust, blood and gore, by the award- winning Wick Theatre Company. Billed as an exciting and traditional production with surprises thrown in, Wick’s skilful portrayal of the near 400-year-old play, directed by Tony Brownings with Peter Thompson, certainly lived up to its promises on opening night. Flawless, convincing performances from cast members – in particular Bob Ryder, who was simply superb as Macbeth – ensured onlookers were captivated by the tale of ambition that stops at nothing.
David Goodger’s playing of two rôles as King Duncan of Scotland and latterly Siward was another highlight – and the striking costumes and sets added to the overall eerie feel of the piece. John Garland gave an energetic performance as Macduff, in particular in his impressive climactic sword fight sequence with Macbeth.
A powerful and at times heart-rending portrayal of the scheming Lady Macbeth was provided by Judith Berrill and Rols-Ham Riche was also note-worthy in the part of Seyton. Jo Hopper, Katie Szeless and Hannah Collis were hauntingly good in their rôles as the weird sisters and David Creedon shone as Banquo.
With more performances to come tonight [Thursday] and tomorrow [Friday], spectators are sure to be enthralled by Wick’s stunning performance of the country’s most popular play – the way the bard himself intended it to be shown.
Macbeth is shown at 7.45pm at the Barn Theatre, Southwick community Centre and tickets, priced £6 and £5, are available from the box office on 01273 597094.
Review #2: Macbeth
Publication: Words & Music
Publication Data: Unknown
Reviewer: Gordon Bull
Macbeth [there, I’ve said it – hear it not Duncan] as part of the Brighton & Hove Arts Council Competition was undoubtedly a resounding success. I choose my words carefully because the witches got all they bargained for in thunder, lightning and rain. It pelted down on the roof as the elements arrived on cue. And those witches – lovely they were. No hags these. I like the invisible fire-lit cavern below grounds as I did the simple backdrop, gradually filling up with blood as each wretched betrayal.
As you might expect the sword-play ‘twixt the two claimants to the throne, created and coached by Angela and Roy Goodall, was superb. No sycophant I. Bob Ryder and John Garland were as like to at least loose [sic] a limb, if not decapitation at any moment. Quite breathtaking as Mac B discovered. David Goodger as Duncan looked most impressive and lived his short life very convincingly. Did I really hear Malcolm [Adrian Kenward] unzip his opponent from his naive to his chops? [sic] Brave chap! And whence were the perfumes which would not allay those bloody hands? I proudly thought I knew the words of this tragedy, but listening to those around me I realised we had all ‘done it’ at school.
It seemed to me that Bob Ryder played this anti-hero firmly as one who degenerated al too fast while Lady M [Judith Berrill] was fully determined from the world go. Banquo’s instructions to his little son Fleance could have shown a little more pain. The only really worthwhile histrionics came as the villain saw Banquo’s ghost, which the assembly seemed to accept fairly calmly.
Tony Brownings direction worked very well and I came away from a satisfying production.
Review #3: Macbeth
Publication: Wick Newsletter
Publication Data: November 2000
Reviewer: Zoë Edden
Tony Brownings told us his production of Macbeth would be a play of illusions and symbolism and indeed he achieved this in an extremely creative and imaginative way. The set was stark and simple, with minimal scenery and props handled by Sue and Margaret in their usual ‘invisible’ manner, helping to build the pace and tension of the play. Absolutely stunning lighting and sound effects created a thrilling atmosphere.
The play opened with the voices of the weird sisters piercing a haze of red light and smoke, emanating from a trap door. The trio, played with amazing agility by Jo Hopper, Kati Szeless and Hannah Collis, were then thrust onto the stage in a style not unlike that of the sexy, Seventies dance troupe ‘Hot Gossip’ – a refreshing change from the toothless hags that usually appear in the play. The contract of the red trap door against the rest of the stage served to remind us of the underlying presence of the supernatural throughout the play. The auditorium was then filled with the wonderfully rich voice of David Goodger as Duncan, King of Scotland. Peter Thompson, Hugh Hemmings and Derek Fraser, clad mostly in leather, made an impressive array of Noble Thanes. David Creedon as Banquo was another very strong piece of casting.
As expected, Bob Ryder and Judith Berrill gave accomplished performances in the lead rôles, convincingly portraying the inordinate ambition that made murder itself seem to be a lesser evil than failure to achieve and retain the crown. They both managed to add depth and sometimes a different slant to the lines that have been heard time and time again. When guilt eventually takes over their minds, Judith’s performance in the sleepwalking scene was one of the most haunting I have seen.
Although the porter’s soliloquy at the beginning of Act ll, Scene 3 was cut [possibly because in the production Macbeth didn’t need time to wash stage blood from his hands], Rols Ham-Riche gave a colourful performance as Seyton, changing between comedy and menace as required. The bloodiness of the tale was represented by the imaginative use of red fabric, projected images and the gradual raising of a red backcloth, as each murder was committed. However, I did feel that the slaughter of Banquo and Macduff’s family came across as slightly tame. The scene between Malcolm and Macduff when they are in the king’s palace in England can often be fairly tedious.
However, strong performances and skilful handling of the dialogue by Adrian Kenward and John Garland, as they emphasised the mistrust that had spread from the central evil of the play, ensured that this was not the case.
Congratulations are due to Bob, John, Tom and the fight arrangers for the battle scenes, which were extremely slick and professional, bringing the play to its tragic and dramatic conclusion.
On a personal note, although I do appreciate the bar and ice creams are an important source of revenue for the theatre, I always feel that Macbeth is best performed without an interval.
It just remains to wish Tony and the entire cast and crew the best of luck in the Drama Festival. The production will certainly take some beating!