The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0868 Monday, 17 May 1999.
From: Mort Nickell <
Date: Sunday, 16 May 1999 15:49:11 EDT
Subject: Cross-casting of Macbeth
On last Thursday, 05.13.99, in Charlotte, NC, a group calling themselves
"Chickspeare" put on Macbeth with an all female cast. I did not attend
the performance, but the critic from The Charlotte Observer made these
comments in his review:
"And when the great Scottish thane stumbles onto the stage wearing a
leather jacket and taking a deep toke on a joint while "Magic Carpet
Ride" blares from the speakers? That would be the work of inventive
director Gina Stewart, who's also the lead singer in the rock band
"doubting thomas (sic)."
"High in concept and in hopes, Chickspeare's latest production...is also
full of a lot of women who are getting high. Despite all that altitude,
this production deserves to be held in low esteem.
"There is no apparent purpose to the gender-based casting or to the
revelry of the characters. Apparently, the ladies of Chickspeare just
wanted it that way.
"And sometimes the most serious moments of murder and mayhem are treated
lightly, like a bad joke."
He ended his column with this comment: "But this is hardly the stuff
that dreams are made on. Toke on, Macduff."
I have no idea whether the observations of the critic are justified,
but, in all honesty, I do have a preference for more traditional
performances without Macbeth in a leather jacket "toking" on a joint.