A theatre event like no other, Goblin: Macbeth at Bard on the Beach is an ingenious, interactive performance that does more than break the fourth wall, it doesn’t even have the wall to start with.
In a quest to better understand human culture, three Goblins have found a document – The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Intrigued by the writer who has a grasp of ‘their world’ of witches, faeries, goblins and monsters and enjoying the often-found blood within the Works, they decide to ‘do theatre’. Taking over the Howard Family Stage and its crew including stage manager Lili, they corral the audience into participating in their first attempt at Macbeth, chosen because has lots of blood and it’s the shortest.
Making use of the recently abandoned set of Henry V (designed by Amir Ofek), the trio of Goblins take on all of the characters within Macbeth, flipping between accents, postures and inflection to differentiate them. Relishing in the murder and mayhem, and having a hard time separating fiction from their own blood-thirst, they often break character to critique and discuss amongst themselves the merits of Shakespeare’s directions, the complexities of English pronunciation and how they should ‘do theatre’.
To great enjoyment by all, The Goblins incorporate the audience throughout the production, from the opening moments of welcoming them to the theatre, honouring a ‘witch’, to murder, and arming them as Macduff’s army fighting to bring down Macbeth. Despite their appetite for blood, the audience is clearly on the side of The Goblins, ensuring their first attempt at theatre is a hearty success…which it is. Truly a must see, Goblin: Macbeth has already sold out its initial run and has been extended for an extra week, adding shows September 19 to 24.
Created by Rebecca Northan with Bruce Horak of Spontaneous Theatre and first performed by The Shakespeare Company and Hit and Myth Productions in Calgary, Goblin: Macbeth also features original music performed onstage by Ellis Lalonde. Costume Designer Philip Edwards’ Goblin garb is also an important piece of the work maintaining the mystique of The Goblins. Goblin: Macbeth runs 90 minutes with no intermission, at Bard on the Beach Howard Family Stage until September 24. Find tickets and showtimes at bardonthebeach.org.
Bard on the Beach advises audience to take note of the content, including offstage murder, strong language, non-toxic haze, strobe effects, adult content, violence, not recommended for individuals under the age of 12.