London-Irish theatre company brings Macbeth to life

David Hennessy

A London-based theatre company led by Armagh director Gavin McAlinden is bringing Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth to life in London with Meath actress Tracy Coogan in the role of Lady Macbeth.

The Acting Gymnasium are at Theatro Technis with a new dystopian imagining of Shakespeare’s tragedy of ambition, power and the supernatural inspired by German expressionism and modern psychological horror genres.

Gavin told The Irish World: “It’s pretty spooky stuff.

“If you’re going to do it, it has to be scary. There isn’t any point doing it if it isn’t going to be scary. It’s Macbeth. It’s about the supernatural. It’s got witches, it’s got incantations.”

Even taking the play on takes a little bit of bravery: “A lot of people don’t do it because they believe it’s bad luck. Legend has it that Shakespeare wrote real curses into the text so the witches are actually saying really curse-y stuff, real bewitching incantations.

“Over the years, an actor got killed in a fencing scene about 60 years ago and a theatre burned down when they were playing Macbeth. A lot of actors won’t even speak the name.

“It’s not for the faint hearted. It’s good to be in a rehearsal room and watch actors jumping up and things like that. You know you’re doing something right when you’re frightening the people in teh room with you. It’s good fund as well. I think it will be an exciting piece as well.”

Gavin has been lauded with industry awards and nominations . Richard Armitage, Michelle Fairley, Paul McGann and the Olivier Award-winning Niall Buggy are among the big names that have acted in his previous productions.

Tracy Coogan has starred in the American comedy-horror Zombie Honeymoon and the psychological thriller Dark Woods opposite James Russo.

Tracy told The Irish World: “I was very impressed when I first came across Gavin so when he said, ‘Do you want to do Macbeth?’ I was like, ‘Okay’. I didn’t really think too much about it.It was obvious I would do it. I love what he does.

“It was daunting. It’s probably one of the best plays ever written and they’re big shoes to fill. It’s one of those roles that every actress wants to do no matter what so I was not going to say no to it. It’s kind of the ultimate role.

“You have to think, ‘How do I make her my Lady Macbeth?’ It’s scary.”

Macbeth is at Theatro Technis until 23 November. For more information, go to theatrotechnis.com/

 

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