By Yona Eagle
Returning to the Adelaide Fringe Festival for its 21st year as part of the season, Melbourne independent theatre company Scrambled Prince brings us a creative and comic re-interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The new work, written by father-son duo George and Tom Franklin, divides the original plot into three stylistically different acts: from sci-fi, to film noir, to Western, we see Macbeth’s classic demise in a completely new light.
Each Act is introduced by the melodic tones of Co-Director and Music Director Brianna Eastaway, whose arrangements of songs such as Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love, Coolio’s Gangta’s Paradise and the Eagles’ Desperado clearly indicate each style shift. In Act 1, Macbeth stands as the commander of the Scott fleet on space station Dunsinane and his win against the Schlingons is a catalyst for his rise as a powerful leader – all of which was met with roaring laughter from the audience. In Act 2, under the umbrella of film noir, we are introduced to a Humphrey Bogart-style Private Investigator, employed by Duncan’s daughter to find her father’s killer. While the talented young cast, now dressed all in black-and-white, performed these scenes with great tenacity, accent work and enjoyment, I found this genre didn’t lend itself to the original text, and perhaps strayed too far from the original themes presented in Shakespeare’s work. Act 3 presents us with a lively and much-needed shift into a hilarious Western, where Macbeth’s witches become Cowgirls and the actors don a variety of plaid shirts. Judging by audience response, this was by far the most successful act, leaving the audience applauding wildly at the end.
Macbeth in Space (and 2 Other Locations) was an enjoyable show that showcased a great range of young talent. While at many points the show felt only directed at the many school students populating the audience (and because of this many of the jokes seemed to be missed by other audience members), the skills displayed by this young cast are definitely worth supporting.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.