Introducing one of our volunteer dance reviewers, Poppy O'Reilly:
After graduating from London Studio Centre with a BA (Hons) in Theatre Dance in 2016, I found myself returning to Devon to pursue a career in dance psychology stemming from my own personal experiences. I’ve combined this with coaching young people in sport and dance, whilst feeding my passion for the outdoors through rock climbing.
Review of Macbeth | Mark Bruce Company,
by Poppy O'Reilly
Tuesday 1 May 2018 at Exeter Northcott Theatre.
Mark Bruce’s adaptation of the iconic Shakespeare tragedy was brilliantly eerie, picking out the bare bones of what is essentially a long and complicated play and developing it into a deep and meaningful piece. Right from the offset the dance depicted a dark and serious ambience that was brought together by a clever array of religious minimalist music, sinister lighting and mystical settings. Bruce’s main influence for the music came from Arvo Pärt, whose spiritual compositions provided a window into the soul but also helped induce a sense of panic throughout the piece.
The company produced a selection of strikingly distorted movements that led you through the story. My enjoyment was at times compromised due to the occasional lack of timing and precision in the first act however this was short lived and I was otherwise completely enveloped within the piece. Jonathan Goddard was excellent in his portrayal of Macbeth bringing beautiful extensions and an imposing stance. His role was supported if not enhanced by Lady Macbeth, played by Eleanor Duval, who, alongside the witches, pushed Macbeth onto his fateful course. Her powerful and stern composure together with her precise footwork and fresh musicality was a delight to watch. Despite the dark and morbid storyline Bruce managed to compose a piece that showcased the raw emotions and was given depth by the use of vocals.
Macbeth has a variety of elements that we can all relate to. In essence there will always be moments where we will have to face our own personal demons, but having the ability to differentiate between the light and dark is what will help us succeed and hopefully live a little longer than Macbeth!
Top Image: Mark Bruce Company