Darrell D’Silva (left) as Siward and Keith Fleming (right) as Macduff in "Dunsinane." (KPO Photo)
Tonight, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. hosts the American debut of “Dunsinane,” a piece produced by both the National Theatre of Scotland and Royal Shakespeare Company.
“Dunsinane,” which is best described as a modern language sequel to Shakespeare’s “Macbeth,” is written by David Greig and directed by Roxana Silber. The play deals with sex, politics and power.
“As this is a play about warfare, there is definitely a fierce brutality to it, a rawness,” Associate Director Luke Kernaghan says. “We often talk about how this is a world in which everyone is trying to survive – every moment is a life or death decision. The stakes are always high. But the genius of David’s writing is that he also understands how comedy sits alongside drama.”
By way of Greig’s writing, Kernaghan also mentions that having comedy and drama combined adds a suspenseful spark to “Dunsinane.”
“He can spin from one to the other in such surprising and shocking ways, and it keeps the audience on the edge of their seats,” says Kernaghan, talking about Greig’s unique, natural talent.
The limited 13-performance schedule of “Dunsinane” begins tonight and ends on Sunday, April 5 in the Bram Goldsmith Theater at The Wallis. And Kernaghan is thrilled to have “Dunsinane” in Los Angeles.
He says, “We are so excited to be coming to L.A.! We have been lucky enough to travel the globe with this play, and to now be in the entertainment capital of the world with it is such a privilege.”
Siobhan Redmond plays the critically acclaimed role of Gruach (Lady Macbeth). British stage and screen actor, Darrell D’Silva, as Siward, joins Redmond. George Brockbanks, Helen Darbyshire, Ewan Donald, Keith Fleming, Tom Gill, Toyin Omari-Kinch, Arthur McBain, Matt McClure, Alex Mann and Mairi Morrison are the other cast members.
The on-stage wardrobe worn by cast members is a prominent component of “Dunsinane” that makes the overall experience of the show a rather intriguing one.
And that is something that came about from the fruitful collaboration between the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre of Scotland.
“As this is a co-production with the Royal Shakespeare Company many of the costumes come from the RSC’s costume store,” he says. “They help give the play that sense of traditional Shakespearean theatre, but we also have that anarchic edge that a young company like the National Theatre of Scotland brings.”
Kernaghan feels the show sports themes that relate to our world nowadays, and that makes “Dunsinane” a catchy performance to see.
“‘Dunsinane’ is a powerful thriller, which absolutely speaks to our contemporary world,” he says. “As with programs such as ‘Game Of Thrones,’ it examines themes of sex, power and war in exciting ways.”
But “Dunsinane” isn’t just about that. There’s more.
“We also have incredible music played by a three-piece band on stage, sword fights, live archery and some of the best British actors performing at the top of their game,” adds Kernaghan. “It’s a play that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.”
“Dunsinane” runs through April 5, 2015 at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit thewallis.org.