Shakespeare for the Masses, which stages “dramatically incorrect” adaptations of the Bard’s works, concludes its third season this weekend with The Tragedy of Macbeth. Call it the antidote to Royal Wedding Overload.
One of Shakespeare’s greatest hits, Macbeth has something for everyone: There are witches, kings (who are slaughtered), doting family members (who are slaughtered), powerful women (not slaughtered well, one is), loyal friends (only a few of whom are slaughtered), exciting duels (leading to slaughter), and ghostly apparitions (of those who have been slaughtered). On a lighter note, in honor of Earth Day, a feature cameo goes to some highly mobile trees.
Mixing the sublime with the ridiculous is a staple of this company of players. But few of Shakespeare’s plays lend themselves to such a rich combination of the two extremes as does this one. Macbeth was the second play the troupe ever performed, for Halloween back in 2008. In the ensuing two and a half years, it has been revamped, shortened by 20 minutes and rendered more irreverent. The script-in-hand performance moves seamlessly from some of Shakespeare’s most bone-chilling scenes and speeches, to silly attempts by the cast to explain why nobody is supposed to say “Macbeth” in a theatre.
Macbeth is played by Vineyard Playhouse favorite Christopher Brophy, with Amy Sabin as his Lady. The cast also features Bill Cookson, Chelsea McCarthy, Jill Macy, Rob Myers, Katharine Pilcher, Xavier Powers, Christopher Roberts, and Nicole Galland as the narrator.
The performances will be at the Vineyard Playhouse, the troupe’s producer.
Shakespeare for the Masses’ Macbeth performs at 7 p.m., Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, The Vineyard Playhouse is at 24 Church street in Vineyard Haven. Running time is approx 55 minutes. Admission free, donations are welcome.