Occasionally the players lost themselves in the deep anguish of their speeches, and words became whimpers, shrieks, and squeals. Macbeth particularly, with his back turned and far into the depths of his tormented psyche, was often indiscernible. Yet his broken physical stance spoke measures.
Seating on all four sides of the stage left a glaring red light directly in my sight path forcing me to cup my hand over my eyes to see the action on stage before it landed in my lap. A lighting design error maybe, but the suspense of the story heightened with the emergence of a player silhouetted against a blazing sunset. Hence, horrible shadow! The nine-member cast accommodated the 30-plus characters in the play with efficient and casual costume alteration: acquiring a limp, throwing on a hat, affixing a pair of glasses, sometimes in mid-scene, creating a bit of a Mad Hatter identity crisis. This too only added to the charm of this hands-on, grassroots, and devoted production.
Directed by Kelli Bocock-Natale, this fine dose of Shakespeare plays at the New Phoenix Theatre on the Park in Buffalo, New York on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8PM through April 10. Thursday night performances are pay-what-you-can.