By the Burning of My Arms, “Something Wicked This Way Comes…”

My arm is burned, my dress and hair are both drenched, I think I may have heat stroke, and sadly, Banquo is dead. And the actor playing Banquo, Jermaine Dominique, was one of the highlights of Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Excuse me for a moment while I take a sip of my green tea lemonade.

That’s better. I may be dehydrated, too.

The play is not over. The intermission up, I took that opportunity to come in from my seat in the sun and assess the damage.

As I said, my arm is burned.burn

Out, out damned burn.

My chest is burned as well.

They should sell sunscreen at the gift shop at the Globe. I’ll be sure to get some for tomorrow’s play (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), though I hear it will rain. I kept wishing for rain during the play. I thought I saw something dripping from above during part of the show, but alas, it was not rain. Perhaps it was sweat from the people in the seats above me, just as the poor people below me must have been wet by my own dripping stream of sweat.

Once again, my train of thought…it’s everywhere.

Sigh. I hate to write a bad review, but this is what this feels like. Macbeth is my favorite play, Lady Macbeth my favorite Shakespearean character, with Lady’s “unsex me” speech the most chilling soliloquy and the seventeen-lined passage I have come to adore  (am obsessed with?) having researched it so thoroughly while working on my Master’s degree.

os-orlando-fringe-macbeth-20130519-001
Michelle Krause as Lady Macbeth behind Jason Skinner as Macbeth, picture by Orlando Sentinel 

I have seen some wonderful interpretations of Lady Macbeth including a colleague of mine at Valencia College, speech instructor Michelle Krause, at the Orlando Fringe Festival three years ago. Krause’s performance gave me the goose pimples. And the pimples were a’honkin’!

 

Sadly, the actress in today’s performance did not move me. The Holinshed Chronicles says about Lady Macbeth, “she were ambitious.” This rendition, however, lacked ambition.

I never thought of Lady Macbeth as a funny character, and yet the actor kept going for the laughs.

Sexy. Bone-chillingly, well, “ambitious,” this is what I think of when describing Lady Macbeth.

Jermaine Dominique as Banquo
from the Macbeth program

Macbeth, himself, was good, but two characters captured the play for me. Banquo, as I stated earlier, was the first. Jermaine Dominique was sexy, interacted onstage lightheartedly with his son Fleance, and was an overall handsome character. Yes, he had a fine looking nose, but I was drawn to his character for more than just his nose.

 

The other character I loved was the Porter played by Nadia Albina. Albina offered the audience the comic relief we all so desperately needed, relief from the standing/sitting out in the direct sunlight, relief from the sweat flowing, relief from the skin burning.

Albina’s Porter said:

Here’s a knocking indeed! If a man were porter of hell-gate, he should have
old turning the key…

Knock, knock, knock! Who’s there, i’ th’ name of Beelzebub?

And then she searched her thoughts for “the other devil’s name.” In the original play, the Porter does not actually seek another name for the devil, another name other than “Beelzebub.” Here, however, she did, and what did she come up with?

How fantastic and hilarious this felt to hear the audience’s cheers and clapping, and my own, “woot woot!” at her answer.

Have you guessed the name she came up with?

Trump!

Hahaha! I love how people in the UK dislike Trump and find him to be the butt of a joke just as they do back home.

And that, my friends, was the highlight of an otherwise disappointing version of Macbeth.

Yes, I left during intermission. I know how the play ends. And Banquo was already dead by intermission, so nothing to keep me burning in my seat—figuratively or literally (wink wink).

Was it the heat that left me disappointed? The sun? The lack of sunscreen? Lady Macbeth?

I’m not sure, but a few things I know…

  1. Macbeth is still my favorite Shakespearean play
  2. Lady Macbeth is still my favorite Shakespearean character
  3. I will not burn tomorrow having picked up sunscreen on my walk back
  4. And as for Trump, he remains for me “something wicked” I’d prefer didn’t become our next President.

 

 

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