You’d be surprised how many people’s first encounter with Shakespeare, is through studying the Scottish play at school. Some will instantly take against it, others, like me, who thanks to a brilliantly inspiring teacher develop a love for it that never really leaves. I must admit when I studied the play for my ‘O’ level English Literature exam back in the early 1980’s I never imagined for a second that I would ever come to direct it.
And here I am in 2016, the year that marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death bringing ‘Macbeth’ to Cuffley, the first time in the Players’ 83 year history that they will perform a Shakespeare play…. I’m not sure the Farndale Avenue version of Macbeth really counts.
Back in June 2015, I directed the play for the St Mary Magdalene Drama Group in Enfield, with a cast that included some Cuffley Players’ regulars, and having rehearsed for 6 months we only performed it twice. We’d had so much fun with it, that when the Players suggested that we bring the production to Cuffley, it was a very easy decision to make.
We have been rehearsing now since the beginning of August, and have a fabulous cast, some from the original production, and some returning to the players and some new faces. Already the production has its form that we can build on over the coming weeks.
Hot on the heels of agreeing to bring ‘Macbeth’ to Cuffley came the suggestion that we perform an extract of it at the Northaw and Cuffley Village Day on September 3rd. A surprising request, seeing as it came before we had started rehearsals, and even before the play had be cast. But ever one for a challenge, we agreed. So on Saturday, 3 brave members of the cast rose to the challenge and battling buffeting wind and flying tents performed a 10 minute extract – no mean feat after only 4 weeks of rehearsal.
If you missed us that the Village Day, don’t worry, you only have to wait till the 9th of November to see the full production.
One thing I ask is that whatever your school experience of Shakespeare was, come. Although its early days, and I confess I am a little biased here, but this promises to be a production to remember.