Macbeth production ‘fantastic, mesmerising and does absolute justice to a classic’

This year’s drama production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth was, by all accounts, a fantastic success, playing to a full house every night and earning rave reviews.

Below is AGS director of drama Mr Warner’s report on the production and a five-star review from a thoroughly impressed Headmaster:

Following on from a string of highly ambitious musical productions, Guys and Dolls, Grease, Cabaret and Little Shop of Horrors, we decided to go in a different direction for this year’s joint AGS/AHS production and stage Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

I abridged the play from its normal 3 hours to a pacy 90 minutes.  We had only 6 weeks for casting and rehearsals before performing to packed houses on 6 – 8 November.

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Jake George as Macbeth

This was the first production to be performed in the Grammar School’s refurbished school hall, the first major renovation since the hall was built in the early 50s.  My vision as director was to combine a production in traditional costumes reminiscent of old 1950s school productions with a modern urban music soundtrack and state of the art smoke and lighting effects, creating a bridge between the school hall’s original production and its 21st century make over.

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Ben Smith as Ross

A chorus of a dozen witches and an army of shadowy apparitions created an unsettling atmosphere that provided the perfect back drop for the classic tale of war, murder and ambition.

As always the pupils of the Grammar School and High School displayed an incredible amount of talent both on stage and behind the scenes and created an exciting, fast paced and highly engaging production.

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Left to right – Rose Mills, Charlie Rumble and Sara Safi as the witches

The actors played with total conviction and provided great clarity of story telling.  All the cast were amazing and Jake George and Carolina Mills were outstanding as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

This was a real ensemble piece and a great sense of team work and camaraderie was on evidence on stage at every performance.  The pupils supported one another very effectively, allowing each performer their chance to shine in the limelight.

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Carolina Mills as Lady Macbeth with Tom Bellini as King Duncan

Mr Lehec gave a glowing review of the production: “I thought that the Scottish Play was a brilliantly ’stripped-back’, serious and sincere production of a classic that did it absolute justice.  It allowed the strength and quality of the entire cast, but particularly Jake George and Carolina Mills in the lead roles, to vividly shine through.

“The sound and lighting crew worked amazing hours to get it ‘alright on the night’ as did the staff led by Mr Warner. I will always remember being fist-bumped by the drunken porter as he revelled his way into the audience!”

Thanks as always go to all the pupils involved and the staff who gave up so much of their time to make the production possible, especially Miss Treherne, Miss Sparrow, Mrs Isherwood and, of course, Mr Warner.

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Aman Sadia as the Boy King, held aloft by the chorus of witches