The Sacré Théâtre is UEA’s staff-student theatre company which specialises in putting on French productions. In recent years they have tackled Jean Giraudoux’s La Guerre de Troie n’aura pas lieu and Sartre’s Huis Clos and they return this year with their interpretation of Eugène Ionesco’s Macbett, directed by Ralph Yarrow.
Macbett is a satirical take on the Shakespeare classic Macbeth and follows Generals Macbett and Banco as they put down a rebellion against the Archduke Duncan. After some broken promises and betrayal, an encounter with two mysterious witches takes Macbett down a very dangerous road.
The cast includes many members of the School of Language and Communication studies, including Head of School Roger Baines as Glamiss and lecturer Claudine Tourniaire as the ill-fated Banco, a wonderful opportunity for students of the school to see their lecturers in a very different light!
The fact that the play is entirely in French shouldn’t put anybody off, no matter how rusty their French is. There’s more than enough action, singing and music to guide the audience through the story and nobody in the audience will feel left behind.
Despite some first-night nerves, overall it was a well-received opening show. A particular mention must go to the spectacular performance of Nerea Rosa Barros who turned her hand at playing a number of roles, delivering her lines with energy and feeling and maintaining incredible stage presence in all of her scenes. Nerea teaming up with Claire Cuminatto mid-way through the first act to form an utterly convincing and barmy pair of witches was a particular highlight of the show.
The music provided by the three-piece band of Suzi and Bobby Hanna and Trevor Rollard suited the tone of the play perfectly, adding to the sense of mystery and magic and also providing comic relief at times.
As one of the very few French language university theatre companies in the country, Sacré Théâtre is a company which must be preserved and Macbett is a play which deserves to be seen.
Performances run until 16 March, and tickets are priced at £6, or £4 concessions. To book, call the box office on 01603 508050.