“Macbeth” at the Canadian Stage Theatre, Toronto,September 7-29, 2001
Excerpt from HurlyBurly’s “Macbeth” review,
by Christopher Hoile (source: Stage Door)
September 13, 2001
Lindsay G. Merrithew (Macbeth) gives a finely nuanced performance in the first half that had me reaching for superlatives. In the second half, however, as Macbeth sees himself trapped by Fate, Merrithew shouts almost all lines thereby losing subtlety just when the text demands more of it. When not shouting his line delivery, as in the famous “Tomorrow” speech, is oddly flat. Ruth Madoc-Jones (Lady Macbeth) is variable but in a different way. When speaking slowly she brings out the meaning in every line. Her chilling sleepwalking scene shows a Lady Macbeth, who is not merely troubled by conscience but insane. Yet when speaking rapidly she emphasizes the meter so heavily the lines become nonsense. Michael Fletcher makes Duncan a tougher, nobler king than is usual but unaccountably makes Siward seem like a elderly British twit.
Most of the actors are much more consistent. Paul Miller (Macduff) is excellent throughout, making one wish he appeared on stage more frequently. The same is true of Derek Boyes who makes Banquo’s hearty good humour a perfect foil for Macbeth. Elizabeth Brown is very strong in the contrasting roles of the imperious Hecate and the very human Lady Macduff. Michael Ferguson (Porter/Doctor) clearly distinguishes his two roles, but odd direction makes his Porter’s scene is more muted than usual. Patrick Garrow (Malcolm/Murderer) and newcomer Rylan Wilkie (Donalbain/Seaton) both give intelligent, well-spoken performances.