Barbican Centre London February 2007 Press Review
( , , 14.02.2007 )
"... This bewitching, bothering and bewildering show is one of those rare performances where even when you don't have a clue as to what's going on – and that was about 85% of the time – it is so completely unlike anything you've ever seen and so mesmerising that you cease worrying about meaning and just go with the flow. It's more like a hallucination that theatre. You leave the Pit feeling as if you've spent 70 slightly bonkers minutes locked in a drum0induced trance in a carpet warehouse that specialises in brightly coloured ethnic rugs. What's more, you sense that, during that time, something wicked came your way. (...)
These weird sisters really are weird; a bejewelled Lady Macbeth, dressed all in black, emerges from the seat of power itself; two men play a game of oneupmanship that involves slapping faces and tweaking nipples; and there is an extraordinary scene towards the end – which I assume makes reference to the murdered Macduffs – when the stage suddenly seems awash with grief and blood.
The bewildering opening and closing references to ducks and geese are the only spoken words, and the rest of the performances are conveyed through drumming, singing, a curious chanting that makes the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, and whirling, demented dances, as masked figures seize power and in turn have it taken away from them. It's a show that will undoubtedly give Shakespeare scholars a migraine. I left the theatre thinking that what I'd witnessed may not be Shakespeare, but was none the less quite extraordinary.
Theatre: Macbeth bewitches and bewilders – without words.
From The Guardian – 03/02/2007
"...The Live accompaniment is by the Drakha Brakha Ethno-Chaos Band, who sit like Slav Druids (in furry stovepipe hats) on a raised dais at the back of the stage. Theirs is aural kitsch, in which Slav-repro sonorities and chants are churned into 4/4 crescendi and Stomp imitations...
...Brightly coloured ethnic carpets line the entire stage floor and three walls. the huge long mask that is worn by whoever is king is unforgettable: it turns the whole head into an engraved and elongated wooden block, about two feet long from crown to beard..."
Macbeth: The Prologue, The Pit, Barbican Centre, London
From Financial Times
"...It's Macbeth, Jim, but not as we know it. I've seen some pretty rum productions of the Scottish play in my time, but none as baffling or as unexpectedly erotic as this weird and wonderful production from Ukraine. (...)
... Nor can one imagine them coming up with a Macbeth quite as impenetrable as this. The action is staged on a set resembling a carpet warehouse, entirely covered in a retina-bruising selection of highly coloured ethnic rugs. The musicians, the splendidly named DakhaBrakha Ethno-Chaos Band, sit on a raised platform, beating the hell out of a variety of percussion instruments, with occasional solos for Jew's harp, cello and an instrument that looks like a didgeridoo but which actually emits sweet flute-like noises. There's a great deal of chanting, too, and the effect is often wildly exciting. (...)
... there's no doubt that the Dakh Macbeth produces a strong visual and aural impact, even if it also provokes not a few unintended titters."
Masks, music and nipple-tweaking
Charles Spencer reviews Macbeth - The Prologue at the Barbican Pit
From The Daily Telegraph – 03/02/2007
Troitsky focuses on the essential, archetypal elements of the play to create a highly ritualistic piece using dance, masks and music to tell the story in an almost trance-like atmosphere.
Troitsky talks intensely of his belief in a theatre of "intellectual clowning, mystery, ritual and neo-baroque aesthetics", theatre as a vehicle for spiritual self-realisation. The result is a spellbinding, surreal take on Macbeth, and unlike any other Shakespeare you are ever likely to see.
A musical Macbeth - with foxy witches
From The Daily Telegraph – 25/01/2007