Boil in the Bag theatre company, directed by Cavan actor Eamon Owens, performed their production of Macbeth in the concert hall for 5th Year students who are studying the play for their Leaving Cert.
Jennifer Lyons (5th Yr English student) offers this review:
On Thursday January 17, the Boil In The Bag production company performed Shakespeare’s Macbeth for the fifth years. The company originates from Dublin and at its helm is Fair City’s Orlaith Rafter. She directs the production and composes the songs and raps. Rafter is ably assisted by Cavan man Eamonn Owens (who played Francie Brady in The Butcher Boy) and two other actors.
Macbeth was written to be performed, not just to be read in class and the company really brought the play to life. This production focused on key scenes performed with a twist. The twist being that the original Shakespearean scenes were performed on stage by two actors and then juxtaposed with a modern interpretation of the content. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth became Maccers and Lady M who were taking part in the “X-Raptor” rapping contest. Ambition drives them to get rid of their opponent, “Dunk Truck”. The pair then has to deal with the consequences. The actors, Elliot and Rosanna, remained in character throughout and put their all into the performances.
This production was utterly brilliant and effectively made a 400-year-old text relevant to a modern-day audience. There were highs and lows, however. Undoubtedly the rap was the highlight for students as it offered a better understanding of the play and we could really empathise with the challenges both characters had to face. It acknowledged that Shakespeare’s characters are three-dimensional, not black or white but a different hue of grey. On the negative side, there were not enough actors: Rosanna played Lady Macbeth, Hecate and the three witches and seemed a little stretched.
Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I would give this production a five-star rating as I think it helps students get their heads around the play. I would urge other schools to book this company as it really strives to make the play accessible and relevant.