Macbeth by William Shakespeare, adapted by Colin Kelly and Kathryn Pride

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Download Macbeth from Pendant Audio Productions

Pendant Productions, 14 November 2012 - 13 March 2013
A fascinating attempt to render Shakespeare's tragedy in five separate podcasts lasting no more than 20-25 minutes each.
The cast is multilingual; accents ranging from Scottish, to Irish, to RP English as well as American.  The music (by Kevin McLeod) provides an ominous accompaniment to the action, especially in the action leading up to Duncan's (Edward Herman's) murder, suggesting that it is somehow predestined by the witches (Amby Leigh, Kristen Bays, Beth Freely).  In this interpretation Macbeth (Pete Milan) is presented as a victim of circumstance as well as overweening ambition; the seeds of power are implanted in his mind by the Witches, and gradually lead him on to more and more grotesque murders.  Lady Macbeth (Mindy Rast-Keenan) proves a willing accomplice; the thought of being able to lord it over the Scottish proves irresistible. 
In aural terms, Colin Kelly's production is quite static, with plenty of time given to the delivery of individual speeches.  This tactic has the effect of transforming Shakespeare's tragedy into a psychological melodrama; we are given an insight into Macbeth's turbulent state of mind, as he wrestles with the idea of remaining a noble subject rather than pursuing his dream of kingship.  Lady Macbeth has no such qualms, even if it means calling on the spirits to "unsex" her.  This speech has a terrible power in Kelly's production; it seems that she will stop at nothing to secure power.  Bearing this in mind, it seems somehow appropriate that she should be driven to distraction by her ambition.
On occasions the production was spoilt by indifferent pronunciation: the Scottish seat of government at Scone was mispronounced as "scone" - the foodstuff - rather than "scoon," while the chief witch Hecate's name was rendered as "Hee-Kate" rather than the Shakespearean "Heccattee."  On the whole, however, this was a compelling version of the play performed with great enthusiasm by a large cast.