Lady Macbeth Rewrites the Rulebook

Ian C. Mercer
Lady Macbeth rewrites the rulebook by Broads with swords theatre company is a clever remixing of Shakespeare with a touch of Buffy and Tomb Raider.

Set in the 23rd Century, it sees Amazonian ex-Cyberkiller Tara Loft (wonder where they got that name from?!) protecting the Jewel of Life, the source of all life on Earth, from the evil clutches of the foul bitch queen Scamvix. When two CD ROMs fuse together during an Internet malfunction, both warriors are hurled into the complete works of Shakespeare.

This is bad news for Shakespeare’s tragic heroines Juliet, Ophelia, Cleopatra, Desdemona, Gertrude and Cordelia as Lady Macbeth schemes with Scamvix to make them live and distract Tara so Lady M can reign supreme as the Tragedy Queen and Scamvix takes control of the Jewel of life, dooming the world.

The play was conceived by award winning writer/director/actor Renny Krupinski. It premiered at the Edinburgh festival 2001 to enthusiastic reviews and is now on tour of the North west.

The acting and Choreography was excellent, with a minimalist set consisting of a cauldron!

Amanda Hennessy is great as the wise cracking, sassy, Buffy-type heroine, though it takes her a while to get into Shakespearian language!

The rest of the cast are equally good. It’s Lucy Took as Lady Macbeth that gets the most opportunities to ruthlessly lampoon and misquote some of the Bards famous lines and speeches. At one point, someone holds a dagger in the cauldron, she turns to the audience and says ‘Is this a dagger I see before me?’ Very funny!

It was especially amusing to see all the heroines go on a drunken binge!

Broads with Swords is the premier all-female fighting company in Europe. With the complex battle sequences, they have all been professionally trained in stage combat. The Matrix-style slowing down of one fight was very impressive. With the show going to New York in August, you could say it’s Bullit-time on Broadway!