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1964; Macbeth


This year the School presented "Macbeth", to celebrate the quatercentary of Shakespeare, on the evenings of the 19th, 20th and 21st March, and also gave a special performance on the afternoon of the 19th March for the schools of the district. Mr. J. Graham Jones created a strikingly original production with an unorthodox stage setting of geometric shapes dominated by the imposing throne. This, together with outstanding sound and lighting effects, of which the apparition scene deserves special mention in creating a visionary, phantasmagorical effect of the degeneration of a man's mind, and sufficiently harsh cuts in the play to compress it effectively to two and a half hours, added to the intense emotion created by the actors. Henry Morgan as Macbeth dominated the play, giving a wonderful picture of the noble man, overcome by ambition, tortured by guilt and finally overthrown. Perhaps the only criticism to be made is that he did not bring out the poetry of Shakespeare's words to the full, but this was counterbalanced by his purposeful actions and the clarity of diction by Gillian Pettit as Lady Macbeth. She gave a sensitive and stirring interpretation of a great tragic role but perhaps in her appearance and tone lacked the malevolence to dominate her husband; this, however, intentionally or not, created great dramatic shock when the significance of her intentions was made known to the audience and added much to the pathos in the later scenes.
Kenneth Walmsley was a sincere and resolute Banquo and Anthony Turner was effective as Macduff, although he lacked a little of the sincerity and virility of the part. Lionel Wiseman had sufficient nobility in his portrayal of King Duncan and Clive Underdown as Malcolm added a rare forcefulness and completely dominated the final scene. Of the minor parts Philip Giles as Ross and Christopher Emmins as Siward distinguished themselves and Richard Telford relieved the dramatic emotion by a magnificent portrayal of the grotesque drunken porter.
The hard work put in by all concerned was aptly rewarded by the size of the audiences on all three evenings and it was evident that all who saw the performance agreed that it was one of the finest ever put on by the School.
P. Stas and D. Gorrie.