Something very, very wicked this way comes.
One of Brisbane’s boldest theatre troupes, The Danger Ensemble, will celebrate their 10th anniversary with a smouldering season of Macbeth.
A sensuous and terrifying adventure that finds inspiration in horror films and the occult, The Danger Ensemble’s staging of Macbeth will attempt to breathe new life into The Scottish Play.
While staying true to William Shakespeare’s narrative, the tragedy will unfold within a world that is very much of The Danger Ensemble’s making.
The cast features some of Queensland’s finest actors, including seasoned Shakespearean performers Chris Beckey and Sally McKenzie, while the creative team includes lighting designer Ben Hughes and incendiary director/designer Steven Mitchell Wright.
Beckey has previously performed in six productions of Macbeth (playing the title role in four of them), but he says this time is not like the others.
“With the state of world politics, Macbeth is very much a story for now, and it’s thrilling to return to the lead role in a different context — to find new meaning and nuance in words I’ve read and performed probably hundreds of times,” Beckey says.
“The world that Steven is creating around and for Macbeth in The Danger Ensemble’s production matches the complexity of the character — it is beautiful, dark and heartbreaking, but still fun and irreverent.”
One thing that separates this production of Macbeth from the others is the casting, with Sally McKenzie set to play the pivotal role of Macduff.
“Macbeth can be such a boy’s club,” Beckey says. “In terms of roles specifically assigned to women, there are only four main roles — Lady Macbeth and the witches. In The Danger Ensemble’s treatment, this has been reversed — there are only four male performers in the cast, with the rest of the roles played by women.
“I’ve been especially excited about the way this treatment affects the role of Macduff and have relished seeing Sally McKenzie step into it. Sally is a legend of Brisbane theatre; back when I was studying she regularly featured in shows for the then Royal Queensland Theatre Company, and always blew me away.
“It’s a thrill to be working with her for Macbeth, and witnessing the way she and Steven continue to develop the role. I think audiences will find it fascinating.”
The Danger Ensemble’s Macbeth will be staged at QACI Theatre (61 Musk Avenue, Kelvin Grove) from Thursday 9 to Saturday 25 February. For more info and tickets, visit dangerensemble.com/tickets.