kyle cassidy (kylecassidy) wrote,
kyle cassidy

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Fear not, till Birnam wood. Do come to Dunsinane the three witches tell Macbeth. And how can a forest come to him? Obviously it can't so the mad King of Scotland lashes out with impunity, bathing the countryside in blood, fearless that he will ever be challenged. But prophecies ... well ... and witches ... they have a way of maneuvering around your way of thinking.

Last night I went to "see" Till Birnam Wood as part of the Philly Fringe festival. trillian_stars is playing Lady Macbeth, for the second time this year, in a very different production.

It's an absolutely stunning production that left me at times joyous and at times chilled by fear (actually, really).

The audience enters the theater, which is in the round, and sits down facing a giant bag on the floor, you can tell that there's something alive in the bag, which is ... writhing ... at which point the audience is instructed to put on blindfolds and everything goes black.

You see nothing else for the duration of the show's 55 minutes, but you experience a host of sensations. The witches appear, you can feel the air as they move past you, possibly only inches away, predicting the future of Macbeth, who very soon arrives with his friend Banquo, back from a battle. There are sounds in front of you, behind you, and in a way that eerily terrified me ... under your chair. It's a full 360 degree immersion and not just sounds -- when Birnam Wood inevitably comes to Dunsinane, you can smell the forest. I felt like I was the only person in the room apart from the characters in the play. It really was a wonderful thing. The play is loud, it's fast, it's creepy. And there are only three more performances left which are mostly sold out. It might be too scary for young children. It's also best if you're familiar with the plot of Macbeth (you can just read it on Wikipedia before you go) so you know who the characters are.

If you're in Philly, really, don't miss it.

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