Review

FRINGEWORLD 2018 | 30 Minute Macbeth | 5 stars

Review | Laura Money

Energetic Shakespeare-lover, Patrick Hercamp is back treading the boards in one of the Bard’s classics – 30 Minute Macbeth. Off the back of his successful show, Half Hour Hamlet, Hercamp takes a longwinded and epic play – this time Macbeth and condenses it into a half hour. But don’t worry, all the blood, betrayal, death, deception, and ghosts are still there – in fact, they take centre stage!

Hercamp’s brand is strong – his format places the audience in the position of the Globe Theatre’s ‘Groundlings’ – you know the peasants that couldn’t afford a seat so got to stand in the Elizabethan mosh pit and shout and throw stuff at the actors? Well, you don’t get to throw any rotting vegetables, but Hercamp encourages the crowd to call out whenever certain words are mentioned – things like ‘ooh, death’ and ‘eee eee eee’ whenever the three witches are present. This audience participation, combined with Hercamp’s repetition of phrases (his description of Lady Macbeth as ‘beautiful but a bit woohoo in the head’) is what cements the story in one’s mind.

It is clear that there is absolute knowledge of the text, the era, the style, the acting techniques, and the whole culture of Shakespeare and this shines through in Hercamp’s flawless performance. Sure, he may have changed the vernacular a little – articulating the story in a twenty-first century language and using key celebrity icons – ok, the Kardashians – to help us relate but therein lies the strength of what Hercamp does. He pulls the ladder out from the elitists in the ‘high art’ camp and brings them crashing down to play with the plebs.

30 Minute Macbeth sees Hercamp’s foot-to-the-floor delivery take you on a journey of gruesome murder, insanity, betrayal and decline. There is a moment of repose when Hercamp delivers the famous ‘sound and fury’ monologue with such reverence, the audience is gifted a glimpse at an accomplished actor. It’s easy to forget just how talented Hercamp is when he speeds through the script with precision and humour, but what you’ll see is a tour de force – Macbeth stripped bare, his decline perfectly rendered and his confusion and lack of hubris examined beautifully.

Whether you’re familiar with the story or not, an English Major or a major fan of drama, 30 Minute Macbeth is one of the best shows of FRINGEWORLD 2018, so do yourself a favour and dip your toes into this tragedy – it’s only half an hour after all!

WHEN: 19 – 25 February 2018 | 6:30pm

WHERE: The Ramp | The Ice Cream Factory | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $15 – $18 | Duration 30 mins | Suitable all ages | THEATRE

LINK: https://fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/30-minute-macbeth-fw2018

 

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