Staging Macbeth

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If I were to stage Macbeth I would keep in mind the themes running throughout the play. Therefore I would consider would sort of stage would be most appropriate for staging it. I feel the era I would choose to set it in would be Nazi Germany in the 1940’s and Macbeth playing an Adolf Hitler role, and appearing on stage in a full length black trench coat, with the voices of the three witches being played in the background. From reviewing all of the different stages I consider the thrust stage to be the most practical option. When you look at the themes in Macbeth, the importance of, ‘three’ is very apparent.

A cunning idea of using thrust staging is that the stage reflects this as the audience faces the stage from three sides, a key element in my decision of using this type of staging is that, it allows the audience to be very close to the acting, and the performance taking place. As thrust staging g was the common form of staging in Shakespearean theatre, it could be said that Macbeth was written to be performed on such a stage, I feel it will be interesting to see how I can give the same play a different approach with different set, but still be staged on the same type of stage as it was originally intended.

In a play such as Macbeth, there are many key themes goodness and evil, hypocrisy and deception, the supernatural, justice and retribution, kinship, loyalty and love, as well as the acting I want the stage and it’s set to try and convey some of these themes using lighting techniques and set. Centre stage I shall have a majestic, grand chair of 5ft, chair, made out of black, white, and red embroidered velvet material, the chair would be very grand and stand tall, with a throne like entity, and dark brown wood. To depict the colours of the Nazi flag.

Macbeth would be sitting on it, in the opening scene, in darkness, with what looks to the audience like red silk encircling his feet, the lighting I will use is a profile with a gobo of a castle to start with, and a fresnel ready to softly focus on Macbeth, when I start the play, I shall switch on all of the lights, forming the outline of a castle in the background, and washing light over Macbeth and the chair, the red silk shall be raised to form three Nazi flags, above Macbeth’s head, with one to his left, right and behind, so it is visible from every angle of the audience.

Macbeth shall sit there in the chair with his long trench coat touching the floor, his emotions shining through and the look of a man who has much power and the intent that he will not let it go for anything. I want the audience to be so close to the action, that they feel they are beholden in the traitorous mind of Macbeth. When the murders take place for instance, I want the audience to feel like it is their own skin being lacerated, by the careless stabs of the undignified dagger.

Simplicity is the key element in my staging of Macbeth and I want it to be very open so there is room for the actors and actresses to move around the stage without hitting in to props. I do not want complicated pieces of set, drawing away the focus of the action in the play. I shall use things such as rostra, to give a simple and easy way or creating a different look for different scenes in the play.

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