The Marigny-based troupe Skin Horse Theater once again delivers a powerful experience, this time with their own rendition Shakespeare’s Macbeth.Building on techniques they’ve used in their prior plays, Skin Horse Theater’s production of Macbeth includes the amazing performances, eerie music, and the fascinating lighting that we’ve come to expect from them.
Skin Horse’s version of the play intensifies the focus around the two main characters, Macbeth (played by Dylan Hunter) and Lady Macbeth (played by Veronica Hunsinger-Loe). The audience feels like they delve into the madness that the characters are spiraling down into as the surreal aspects of Shakespeare’s tragedy are accentuated. Candlelit scenes in the wood house bring us to a setting where the cavernous empty spaces let the characters’ witches play.
We also see the use of vibrant color-lighting schemes reminiscent of their James Turrell influenced lighting their most recent original work Nocturnes (I-III), and actors playing multiple roles surrounding the two characters in the old, wooden creaky Bywater venue that is The Tigermen Den.
The first part of the play is set so that the walls acting as a frame for all the action. This allows the witches to stare at the play from outside the action, and plays with the perception of the characters. Skin Horse likes to keep you on your toes, and does so, having an intermission where they rearrange the room in order to give the second half a completely different vantage point.
The play includes stunning moments such as the lighting used when Lady Macbeth encounters the witches early on (some of the troupe had gone to see James Turrell’s art exhibit in Houston while researching their prior play Nocturnes I-III). The complete contrast of those vibrant color schemes are on display when Banquo’s (played by one of Skin Horse Theater’s founding members in Brian Fabry Dorsam) back is turned on Macbeth, the darkness spread on his face perfectly affecting the mood (and bare to the whole audience. The witches dance and chant (played by Ellery Burton, Pandora Gastelum, and Monica Gilliam), acting as our Virgil as we delve deeper into the Macbeths’ hell. (Unlike in the play, where the witches are used mostly as a device, in this rendition, Skin Horse Theater uses the witches, with fine choreography from Angelle Hebert, to continue to set the mood, slowly lowering you into their despair.)
Dylan Hunter was great as Macbeth, his booming voice carrying the audience through Shakespeare’s text, and Veronica Hunsinger-Loe was masterful as Lady Macbeth, adding another transformative performance to her very impressive repertoire of roles with Skin Horse Theater. Only a few months after Fringe Festival, Skin Horse Theater gives us another mesmerizing performance, “full of sound and fury.” You should catch it before your time runs out.
Skin Horse Theater’s Macbeth will be running from February 6-9th, the 12th and 13th, and 16-18th. With all the shows happening at 8 pm and on a sliding scale of $15-25.