While theaters remained dark this past summer, Rhode Island’s acclaimed Burbage Theatre was busy making a movie.
Under the direction of Burbage artistic director Jeff Church, many local actors, filmmakers and behind-the-scenes people were assembled to work on this unique project, which can be viewed for free through the end of the month on YouTube.
Burbage’s “Macbeth” gives Shakespeare lovers a completely different perspective on Shakespeare’s great tragedy.
Filmed in black and white, with the exception of one scene, characters appear and disappear out of the darkness, familiar soliloquies are filmed up close, and stop-action techniques, especially during the sword fight scene, are used effectively.
Somber music adds to the stark settings, giving the play a somber atmosphere.
In addition to producing, directing and adapting the play to the screen, Church takes on the title role and handles it perfectly.
Close ups of the familiar soliloquies – like “Is this a dagger I see before me …” and “Life is but a walking shadow …” – are eloquently portrayed in the stunning black-and-white close-ups.
The play has one of my favorite Shakespeare quotes, which sums up the plot: “False face must hide what the false heart doth know.”
Watching the play on my computer screen gave me the option of turning on my closed caption button and not missing a word of dialogue.
Congratulations to Burbage and all the people and groups who supported this project.
The film is just over two hours long and can be viewed on YouTube. Check www.burbagetheatre.com for more information.