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Direct a production of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" focusing in on act 1 scene 1.

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Introduction

In my assignment I am going to direct a production of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth" focusing in on act 1 scene 1 and comparing and contrasting two very different versions of the play "Macbeth". I am going to be looking at The BBC Shakespeare that is the "medieval and bleak" production and The Middle English Programme, which is the "modern, rural and abandoned" production. Two different people have directed both of these versions and they have both approached it in a way that I least expected them to, after reading the original script of the play "Macbeth" My task is to compare these two versions and to direct act 1 scene 1 in a way that I feel will enthral and excite my audience. Act 1 scene 1 being the opening scene of the play "Macbeth," needs to have a powerful and explosive opening, this will keep the audience curious and questioning what will happen next. The scene features 3 repulsive and gruesome witches who speak about a man named Macbeth. Macbeth is a Scottish play that is set in the 11th century in the late Victorian times in the era of Elizabethan times. The play itself is bloodthirsty and extraordinary yet it's a play that features great tragedy and greed. The play opens with three unsightly witches preparing to meet with Macbeth. Macbeth was a Scottish Lord, or Thane, who had recently defeated the Norwegian's army in battle. King Duncan was delighted with Macbeth's nobility and loyalty in battle that he decided to make Macbeth Thane of Cawdor, because the former Thane had proved himself to be somewhat of a traitor. ...read more.

Middle

They were trying to use biblical events to create this antiquated and timeworn presents over the audience. This I felt was very affective as it made me feel as though I had gone back in time and that I was reliving my life in biblical times. They had made the witches to look as though they were large piles of rock lying upon these 3 raised platforms. They used a red glow of light on the background of the scene to make it feel as though it was the sunset falling down behind the platforms and the mountainous affect. This then changed to a misty grey as though nightfall had fallen and something mysterious was going to happen. On the other hand The Middle English Programme was set in a barren, isolated and exposed piece of countryside that was far away from any civilisation. The director chose to make it look as though it were a landfill site that had been abandoned with large pools of water that swamped the land and areas of marsh. Debris lay across the land as though war had taken place and that the land had died from war. The setting then moved into an enclosed area of land that looked like a dumping yard. It was here were the 3 witches scavenged amongst rubble while a fire burned in the middle of the 3 witches. Next I am going to look at the atmosphere of the play. In my production I want to create an intense, vicious and murderous atmosphere. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is why people seen witches as being evil, ruthless and frightening and inhuman characters. I chose to use a similar costume and appearance to that of The BBC Shakespeare because I felt it left an impression on how society was like in Elizabethan and how witches were seen in those days. In the BBC Shakespeare the witches were dressed in long rags and shrouds that cover their flesh from head to toe and only revealing their faces and their hands. Their faces wrinkled and shrivelled up like old hags with masses of dirt impaled in their faces and large warts and moles found covering their noises. Whereas in the Middle English Programme the director chose to make the witches look as though they were travelling people with no money and needed to scavenge through other peoples waste. They were dressed in modern society clothing although they were unattractive and fierce to look upon. Their teeth rooting in decay and a dark yellow, their skin tramped with dirt with no air to breath. Although upon each witch was a red piece of clothing either worn as a scarf or a headband. This made me think that these witches were wicked, foul, spiteful people who were there to cause trouble. It can reminds me of the fire, as the director chose the colour red to symbolise that these witches were cruel, vicious and dangerous species. In the language section of my play, I will be using Shakespearean text. In Elizabethan times people spoke ... ...read more.

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