A Polish take on ‘Macbeth’

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Apr 23, 2014 - 19:42
  • Updated : Apr 23, 2014 - 19:42
Murder, betrayal, sex and vengeance ― no story shows the savage behavior that some humans succumb to in order to fulfill their ordained prophecies or the unrelenting grasp that evil can have on one’s soul like the power-hungry tale of William Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

“Let not light see my black and deep desires,” Shakespeare wrote in the depiction of Macbeth’s inner turmoil as he longed to murder the king and overtake his throne. Considered one of Shakespeare’s most diabolical and compelling tragedies, the captivating, malicious 17th-century “Macbeth” will be performed live at the upcoming 13th annual Uijeongbu International Music Theatre Festival next month. 
“Macbeth” (Uijeongbu International Music Theatre Festival)

The original cast from Poland’s Opole Theater will perform its interpretive production of the play at the Uijeongbu Art Center’s Grand Theater on May 13 and 14. Young Polish director Maja Kleczewska has brought a bold interpretation of the classic play and given the storyline a modern-day twist with the use of transvestites, mobsters and low-life drug addicts in his dark retelling.

“We have spent a lot of time and energy on this production, right down to the very last scene,” Kleczewska said in an official statement from the festival organizers.

“With the questions of ‘Who plays what types of roles? What kind of characters lead the scenes and why?’ I began dissecting through Shakespeare’s works,” he explained. “Through this process, I decided to adapt the scenes where the witches mix the potion in the cauldron and prophesize Macbeth’s future, as well as the scenes where many ghosts appear. However, I sought to retain the original theme of the play during the adaptation process.

“Such considerations and changes allowed me to create a unique interpretation of ‘Macbeth’ without losing the play’s original structure.”

The festival will also feature a handful of musical productions, both international and domestic, including the French production “Magic Dust,” “Net Let” from Russia and the Japan-Korea joint play “Why Why Why Man.”

Local productions will include the popular TV drama-turned-musical “Moon Embracing the Sun,” “Fairy and the Woodcutter,” “Sugungga ― The Blue House” and more.

The Uijeongbu International Music Theatre Festival is an annual indoor and outdoor stage event showcasing a wide range of musicals, plays and live band performances. The outdoor theater is also scheduled to screen a number of popular music-based films including “Once,” “School of Rock,” “Chicago,” “Les Miserables” and “MAMMA MIA!”

The festival will run from May 9-18 at the Uijeongbu Art Center in Gyeonggi-do. For more information, visit umtf.or.kr.

By Julie Jackson (juliejackson@heraldcorp.com)