By Bob Evans
For a tempting evening of intrigue, murder, ambition, madness, jealousy, and a chalice of blood to wash it all down, rush to purchase tickets for The Living Room’s newest production “The Tragedy of Macbeth” in a new 90 minute adaptation by Kyle Hatley.
The new version of the Scottish play opened Friday night, Aug. 11 with a cast of three undertaking the Shakespeare classic. Kyle Hatley and Natalie Liccardello undertook most of the characters, while Sean Hogge appeared briefly as a witch in Act I Scene 1 before stepping off the performance area to play his original score and man the sound table.
Finding a new way to present Shakespeare challenges the creativity of so many playwrights, directors, and actors, yet Hatley found a way to craft a new production using predominately himself and Liccardello in a dimly-lit performance space, upstairs at The Living Room Theatre. The space, carefully laid out, puts the audience inside the action as the two actors walk among the audience members as the play unfolds.
The atmosphere created by Hatley and the dramatic lighting just makes “Macbeth” more sinister, dark, and gloomy. The string of calculated murders lead the ambitious king on a killing spree to capture the throne. Lady Macbeth, equally corrupt willingly follows the lead of her deranged spouse.
Brilliant acting helps propel the story, but difficulty with hearing some of the early lines keep the audience straining and adjusting to the two voices. As the play progressed, the audio was better or the audience was trained to focus more on the speaker. And, a Shakespere play delivered in 100 minutes with no intermissions makes for a rapid-pace delivery and compacted story line.
The Living Room always finds treasures to debut to Kansas City audiences. “The Tragedy of Macbeth” follows that lead. Again and again, The Living Room takes a creative approach to new works and develops local playwrights with local actors as Kansas City builds its reputation as a theater town. This production proves creativity abounds here.
More information can be found at: thelivingroomkc.com
Tags: “The Tragedy of Macbeth”, The Living Room, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment