It’s incredible how such beautiful language needs nothing more than a blank stage and a cast of talented actors to create something completely magical. Point Break Studios should be highly commended and extremely proud of the incredible piece of theatre they have delivered. Balancing a cast of professional, amateur and trainee actors from all walks of life is no easy task but directors Blair Cutting and Paul Winchester have managed to draw nuanced and multi-faceted performances from all members of the cast who quite clearly relished the chance to perform this modern take of a Shakespearean classic.
Clever costuming choices clearly set the scene for this modern gang warfare version of the play that shall not be named, and Marisa Newnes should feel delighted that her designs were able to effortlessly establish the complicated hierarchy of the organisation and exactly who was in charge, Duncan’s white suit was genius. A special mention to Elisheba Femia and Lachlan South who were in the joint roles of stage management and sound, all set changes happened smoothly, an obvious testament to good organisation back stage and the sound design really helped set the scenes, if even at sometimes I wish they would go a little bit further and have them throughout the scenes rather than just during the transitions.
The true heroes of this production are of course our cast of antiheroes. Every single actor and actress held their own and told the story they wanted to tell. From the moment the show started we were introduced to our 3 Witches played by Emma Riddle, Annalie Hamilton and Oscar Youman, who took a very clever direction choice and made their own 3 unique but still joined characters. In the second half of the show Penny Day joined them as Hecate with an energy that not only matched but expanded from them and gave the audience chills. The roles of Malcolm, Macduff and Banquo were played by Alexander Wright, Oliver Harcourt and Joshua Emmelkamp who did a fantastic job creating memorable characters. Wright carried himself with a smug arrogance, directly
befitting one born into privilege and wealth. Harcourt moved with a righteous purpose, determined to take revenge on his family’s killer and Emmelkamp had a beautiful tenderness for his son but played equally well the friend of Macbeth. I have to mention Duncan played by Blair Cutting who had such incredible stage presence it was crazy to watch and also quite clear why he was cast as Duncan. In a jarringly opposite moment, his porter was the comedic highpoint of the night.
Of course, how can I not mention the titular character, Macbeth played by professional actor Paul Winchester. Watching him on stage was like watching a masterclass in acting, Macbeth’s descent into madness from loyal subservient of Duncan was truly spectacular and it was clear that anyone he shared the stage benefitted from his years of experience. Equally just as effervescent was Melissa Jones Lady Macbeth, she owned the stage and her manipulation over the men in her life was something to watch.
It was honestly truly great to see the entire ensemble come together for this show, there was an obvious amount of love and excitement from everyone on stage and I’m very excited to see what’s in store for them next. The directing duo of Blair Cutting and Paul Wichester have obviously spent a lot of time and love on this show and helped fashion a show filled with incredible talent.
I give this production 4 ghostly floating blades and a damned spot that won’t come out.