The ‘Scottish play’ comes to Hatbox

  • J.D. Lauriat of Granite State Saber Academy oversees a rehearsal. Courtesy of Hatbox Theatre

Monitor staff
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

One of William Shakespeare’s shortest, yet most powerful play, is said to be Macbeth, which was written in 1606. With its place so far back in history, this story is timeless and counts itself among English classics.

Hatbox Theatre will share this classic Friday in a performance by Three Witches Productions.

The so-called cursed “Scottish play” is based on a true story written by 1500s chronicler, Raphael Holinshed, whose writing inspired many of Shakespeare’s plays. Macbeth (Ian Allan) was a fierce general who wanted to rule by killing off King Duncan (Gary Locke), who is remembered as a kind and gentle man. Alongside Macbeth was Banquo (Brendan MacKay), Macbeth’s ally in his army. However, Shakespeare changed the relationship between Macbeth and Banquo for his play, making them rivals, and Banquo eventually becomes an accomplice to Macbeth in the plan to kill the king.

Although there are many similarities between reality and Shakespeare’s depiction of the story, there are other details, some true, that make the play more interesting and very powerful. For example, Lady Macbeth (Laurie Torosian) is a strong and ruthless woman. Throughout Macbeth and Banquo’s planning to murder the king, Lady Macbeth is much more than supportive. Shakespeare shows the power a woman can have through her. She is described to be more masculine than other women in order to do what she feels she should for her husband. She is the one who relentlessly pushes Macbeth to carry out his plan when he hesitates to follow through.

Three witches (Nancy Brennan, Deirdre Hickok Bridge and Tess Hodges) are the inspiration for Macbeth’s quest by prophesying to him that he will become king.

Director Jill Pinard described Macbeth as having “something for everyone: action, the supernatural and beautiful poetic language.”

Pinard said she decided on a bit of a different approach when it came to rehearsals, which started in November. Instead of having her cast rehearse the play from beginning to end as a group, the actors split up based on their character’s relationships with one another. They practiced in those groups instead and ran over lines that way before coming together as a full cast to run through their performance.

Each actor was expected to interpret the play themselves, giving them the opportunity to take a new approach on the topics involved in the play.

Among the crew working on Macbeth is best costume design in a community production award-winner, costume designer Lynn Head, as well as Hannah Joy Hopkins. Hopkins recently won best scenic design in a community production at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards.

The play will run from Friday through Feb. 18. Every Friday and Saturday, performances begin at 7:30 p.m. On Sundays, there will be matinees at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $17 for adults, $14 for members, seniors, and students, and $12 for senior members. Purchase tickets ahead of time at hatboxnh.com or call 715-2315.