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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

SHOWBIZ: The Three Witches


Macbeth’s witches didn’t quite survive the temporal transfer from the renaissance to the present day in The Three Witches at Motley Bauhaus in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Having accidentally set a train of events in motion by prophesying Macbeth’s ascension to the throne, the witches attempt to retrieve the letter he has sent to his good lady wife.
The conceit has plenty of scope for fun and slapstick but the narrative is caught between wanting to continue with Shakespeare’s plot line and language while simultaneously attempting to portray the witches as incompetent.
One could have effectively minimised the focus on Shakespeare’s plot given it is so well known and accentuated the comic. As it was, there were copious entrances and exits necessary to keep the story going which could have been averted.
The comedy is logically based on the premise that the witches couldn’t conceivably predict the future and the nonsense of Macduff’s conception being of no woman born. He came from a womb regardless of the exit point.
The small stage made slapstick challenging but the invisibility spray had lots of potential and does explain the floating dagger. The crazy beards worked but pushing the levels of absurdity might help develop this piece. Imagine the stuffed toy that represented Fleance floating over the audience when Fleance fled. “Fly good Fleance, fly, fly, fly.”
A little more of the ‘insane root’ might see this piece being developed further; I speak of absurdity rather than anything psychedelic.
This review can be added to the pot as you conjure your next iteration of the travails of the three witches.

  • Review by David McLean