Reviewed by Paula Citron
Theatre Rusticle’s new production Birnam Wood is very imaginative movement theatre with ravishing moments, but it lacks clarity.
Artistic director Allyson McMackon’s inspiration is the trees of Birnam Wood, the forest that Macduff ordered cut down to conceal his soldiers at Macbeth’s castle. The wood sprites of those trees are the characters,
The show is built on a series of vignettes, each one contributing to the musings of the whole. Poetic images emerge rather than linear scenes. We see the dreams of the trees in a world where “Macbeth does murder sleep”, but the images seem to go off in all directions. The topic, perhaps, is too broad and ephemeral.
On a positive note, Lindsay Anne Black’s set and costumes are gorgeous, as is Michelle Ramsay’s lighting. The cast itself is very strong, and the time does fly by. I just wanted the McMackon theatre high, and it didn’t happen with Birnam Wood.
Birnam Wood continues at Theatre Passe Muraille until Mar. 27.
Created by Allyson McMackon and the company
Directed by Allyson McMackon
Starring Hume Baugh, Maev Beaty, Wesley Connor, Viv Moore, Matthew Romantini and Lucy Rupert,
Theatre Passe Muraille, Mar. 18 to 27, 2010