UAE to experience modern, immersive interpretation of Macbeth
Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ajman engage in Shakespeare’s tragedy in April 2017, with a multi-national, all-female cast
Shakespeare Under the Stars returns to the Emirates this year with an immersive production of Macbeth, the classic tragedy of ambition and power. Like 2016’s Romeo+Juliet on the roof of Mall of the Emirates, this is much more than sit-and-watch, standard theatre.
Macbeth is a modern interpretation, set in the UAE, where the cut-throat world of corporate politics replaces the Shakespearean regal politics. The board members of the powerful Scotland Corp., a security and surveillance company, find themselves in a struggle for leadership, with Macbeth seizing control in a most unorthodox fashion.
Macbeth is presented by the UAE Ministry of Culture & Knowledge Development, in partnership with the British Council as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration. This production will travel through various emirates, starting at the Abu Dhabi National Theatre on April 14th & 15th, and carrying on to Alserkal Avenue in Dubai on April 21 – 22, and the Ajman Cultural Centre on April 28 – 29. The Ajman production is the first English-language immersive production to occur in the Northern Emirates. The setting will be integrated into each location, giving each emirate a different experience of the same production
Truly unique for the UAE, it is an immersive, promenade theatrical experience. Of immersive theatre, Liz Hadaway, Artistic Director of Macbeth says:
“Audiences are demanding more from theatrical events. We aim to draw you into a world, utilising all your senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, feel… this is a multi-sensory experience. The audiences are free to roam the spaces and interact with performers and engage with the set, becoming part of the action themselves. It is an adventure into the unknown. Each audience member will emerge with a different perspective on the production.”
Macbeth will feature an all-female cast, subverting the notion of the all-male casts of Shakespeare’s time. The multi-national cast is experienced and extensively trained, and includes Emirati actor Hanan Alshabebi. Allison Williams, who plays Macbeth, brings a new angle to the character. Her professional credits include the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival and multiple Off-Broadway productions, including Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet. Venetia Tiarks-Clark (Animal, Glass Menagerie) plays Lady Macbeth.
Romeo+Juliet 2016 was lauded for its realistic fight sequences and choreography. Expect even more from Macbeth in 2017. “People often think of women as weak physical fighters, but without brute strength, we get a lot trickier!,” says Allison Williams, who also is the show’s Fight Director – she is a Member of the Society of American Fight Directors. “Watch for feints, suckerpunches, and lots of chasing. We’ve also come up with creative ways to handle the deaths of the Macduff family, and a very bloody, supernatural end for Banquo—look away if you’re squeamish.”