Macbeth: The One Half World
Directed by Oliver James Hymans
Performed by the Little Angel Youth Theatre
Presented at Little Angel Theatre, March 2014.
In October 2013 the Youth Theatre came to see the acclaimed Little Angel Theatre version of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Inspired by how a play written for actors could be transformed using puppets (the Little Angel version featured the characters represented by birds), the group set about experimenting with their own take on the themes from the play that interested them.
The company decided early on in the devising process that they did not intend to create another traditional production of this bloody Shakespearean tragedy. Instead, what was presented was the result of two terms of workshops where the company created a unique interpretation Macbeth. This version focussed on the play’s recurring motif of sleep (the ‘one-half world’) and the supernatural world. Other contemporary references were used as inspiration, such as C.S. Lewis’ ‘Dark Island’ (The Island Where Dreams Come True), paintings from the Surrealist movement and even the company’s own dream diaries.
Under the direction of Oliver James Hymans, the company was continually encouraged to experiment with different forms of puppetry and with the possibilities of using materials in different ways to create puppets. They asked themselves the question (quite literally) how many puppets can be made from a length of rope?
The outcome of the Little Angel Youth Theatre’s project is an ambitious and stylized piece of puppet theatre, which shows off the company’s creativity, intelligence, and boldness.