This performance reimagined Shakespeare’s classic play in a post-apocalyptic setting with a muted-yet-distinct costume display. Each character’s outfits are inspired by the Western modern day but retaining some nods to the play’s historical setting with characters wearing small sections of chainmail or medieval-era crowns all with a rusted, iron stage.
However, the show does not abandon the authentic language of the original play. I never appreciate when it is done away with in modern reimaginings of Shakespeare as I believe them integral to consuming the art. Shakespeare is as much a collection of works of historic cultural value than artistic one and I lament any person whose first exposure to Shakespeare was a modernist reimagining without even authentic language. As I recall, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo + Juliet had a modern setting and guns but retained the older-style English language.
In my time at the University of Illinois, I dedicate most of my extracurricular hours to the What You Will Shakespeare Company RSO. I acted and directed in its plays and sat on its executive board. The shows never age for me and they’re just fun to watch. I recaptured that experience in this performance as its muted yet artistic mode to perform Macbeth reminded me of our times in the Company and how we often did our shows. This style of setting, original language yet a re-imagined setting, is one I enjoy getting to participate and observe. My favorite. Shows like this one will continue to remind me of my college days and comfort me in this early absence from them.
Jacob M Rominger