Catch Shakespeare under the Stars this April

Modernisation and an all-female cast under the Dubai night sky arrives on Friday April 21

If you’re a fan of the Bard, check out Shakespeare under the Stars in Dubai this month, with an interactive re-interpretation of Macbeth.

Macbeth will be the second performance of Shakespeare under the Stars in the UAE, following the success of Romeo and Juliet back in 2016. The production will utilise promenade theatre techniques, which immerse the audience in the plot.

“The audiences are free to roam the spaces and interact with performers and engage with the set, becoming part of the action themselves,” says artistic director Liz Hadaway.

The Scottish play follows the story of the Macbeths who, having been corrupted by the Witches, start their violent voyage to power. Murder, deceit and sin are central to this text, which demonstrates the destruction caused by unrestrained ambition.

The version coming to Dubai, though, is far removed from regal politics and instead will take place in the UAE’s world of corporate politics. The King becomes the CEO of security firm Scotland Corporation. In a country rapidly making its mark on the globe, and with plenty of expats racing to reach the professional pinnacle, this adaptation seems especially apt.

Further changes include an all-female cast, a particularly poignant adaptation for a play where traditional gender roles are subverted and the concept of “manliness” is constantly debated.

Recognising that originally Macbeth was only performed by men, Allison Williams, playing Macbeth, says, “What I love about this production is how the machinations of the plot are exposed more by the all-female cast. Most productions of Macbeth lay on pretty thickly that he’s manipulated by his wife – but when there’s two women on stage, it’s easier to see how, in Shakespeare’s text, Macbeth is convincing himself as much as being badgered into murder.”

The original play might be hauntingly heavy but, as the Bard would tell you, “Screw your courage to the sticking-place,” and you’ll brave the world of this modern Macbeth, maybe even learning a thing or two about your own ambitions along the way.

Dhs150. Apr 21-22, 7.30pm. Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.shakespeareunderthestars.ae.

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