Madcap Macbeth

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IT WAS Shakespeare, folks, though not quite as we know it. It was also Oddsocks, and regulars at their summer Pomegranate in Queen’s Park shows will know what that means!

This year it was Macbeth’s turn for this madcap bunch’s hilarious treatment. Five of them played most of the bard’s characters, with a little help from masks, stilts, dummies, and two volunteers from the audience: Alex the Messenger and Malcolm the Unconfident who eventually became king (cue cries of Course you can, Malcolm!). Lady Macbeth was more Essex than Edinburgh and called Morag, and Fleance was a street kid in tartan baseball cap and low-slung breeches (innit? yeah!). Did I say it wasn’t quite as we know it?

Most of Shakespeare’s lines were there, especially famous ones like Double Double Toil and Trouble and Out, Out, Damned Spot. Quite a few he didn’t write crept in and I’m not sure he included much mwohahaha-style villainous laughter or cries of Behind You!

They knew how to throw a party up at the castle, conga-ing and bamba-ing the night away before King Duncan came to a sticky end, and carousing around Banquo’s ghost after he came to an even stickier one, with lots of pale pink blood. But I felt sorry for Seyton the castle cleaner, who had to scrape up bits of the dead queen with a coal shovel.

At the end, Birnam Wood came to Dunsinane Mexican wave style, as the entire audience turned into trees, arms aloft and fingers wiggling like twigs.

Somehow I’ve always managed to miss Oddsocks’s visits to Chesterfield before. That’s not a mistake I shall make again. Catch them at Carnfield Hall, Alfreton, on July 24. LYNNE PATRICK