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Macbeth: Crown of Blood
Year 1995 / 2004       Location Brisbane

Director's Notes
In this version of Macbeth the text has been stripped to reveal Macbeth's journey. With the exception of Lady Macbeth's sleepwalking scene in all other scenes the players concern themselves directly with Macbeth and he with them. Persons both real and magical inhabit his dream/nightmare world and he negotiates with them right down to the wire.

The actors strive to keep their physical distance from the audience by the imposition of an imaginary line drawn half-way across the stage behind which all the stage furniture is placed. '......the actors move...like animated friezes from a gothic cathedral whose sculptors had improbably been studying Japanese prints...' (Kelly 1995)

In this production the actor is firmly placed at the centre of the theatrical drama. This places great responsibility on the performer because the audience, not being distracted by 'tricks' of the theatre is, instead, directed to watch the actor at all times. Therefore the actors' physical movement is under intense scrutiny.

The actors' body should 'speak' clearly at all times even when completely still, in fact, the body should 'speak' even more eloquently when still. To achieve this state of skill, training is necessary, the body and the voice must be subjected to intense scrutiny under controlled learning conditions and just such conditions exist within the physical and vocal demands of the Suzuki Actor Training Method. The body and the voice become one unit of focussed 'energy-made-visible'. This blending of voice and sculptural body was one of the principal tools used to create Jacqui Carroll's re-telling of Shakespeares's Macbeth.

"…as Macbeth descends into a nightmare world of contaminated conscience, the fact that he stands isolated in speech, articulating a separate language, actually adds an authentically alienated aspect to his character. Such is Frank Theatre’s postmodern experimentation with Shakespearian narrative – moving beyond the safety of convention, a new theatrical language is created; one where East meets West, and the old is a bridge to the new."
Campus News March 2004

"…fresh and watchable…the actors' exquisite vocal work makes the language eminently listenable. Watching the Suzuki Method is to experience the tension of watching a drawn bow, and each of the actors have learnt well Suzuki's dictum to make the whole body speak even when one is silent"
Theatre Australasia 1995

"…here was a beautiful work, hypnotic in its strangeness, affecting in its intensity…the production created its own theatrical language"
The Brisbane News 1995

"Carroll's inspired treatment [of the play], influenced by renowned Japanese theatre director Tadashi Suzuki uses striking sound and lighting to deliver theatrical magic…this most welcome local production deserves the widest possible audience"
The Courier Mail 1995
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