Lady Macbeth and the Not Quite Dead brings a modern twist to classic tales

Western Canada Theatre’s collaboration brings a stunning rendition of Shakespeare classics to the virtual stage

For one week only and to celebrate World Theatre Day, Western Canada Theatre and nine other theatre groups collaborated with Musical Theatre Works to create a new work of art, Lady Macbeth and the Not Quite Dead.

This tale featured the musical stylings of many talented artists, all from various places throughout Canada, coming together to sing 17 new songs in the form of an online video.

The storyline follows Lady Macbeth during her sleepwalking scene in the famous Shakespeare play, Macbeth, but the script has been twisted as she reaches out to other Shakespearean women who have “not quite” died. Each of the songs is much different from the last, many incorporating a modern twist to these ill-fated women’s stories.

We see our very own Sagebrush Theatre stage incorporated into the first video of many as we watch Lady Macbeth (played by Tracy Power) roam about the stage in a very stylistic piece. We see the footage cutting back and forth from different frames and see Lady Macbeth go from calm to frightened as she calls for the other women.

Moving throughout the piece, many of the songs feature the artists singing from their music-making spaces at home, indeed a sign of the times. Although many of these videos did not change their angle or the actors were quite still as they sang, their voices were captivating, and in every one of the performers, you could see the passion for their work.

This was also an excellent piece to watch as each of the artists brought their own flair and style to the songs they were singing. Each video was different from the others, and all of the artists were clearly given creative licensing that they used well. From the video of Tara Jackson singing a Song for Cleopatra: My Own Terms to Devon More singing a Song for Portia, each video included a personal style that was incredibly captivating.

Overall, this was such a wonderful piece to enjoy. I think this would be so interesting to see live and in person, at a theatre because it could take a whole different direction if it wanted to. Watching theatre online is not an ideal experience by any means, but all of these performers brought passion to the songs they sang and a unique perspective to the piece. 

I hope that in the future, I can watch this piece again to see how cohesive it could be with all of the artists in the same space. All of the writers and artists involved were so talented. I am happy to see these various theatre groups, including Western Canada Theatre, create theatre in such a difficult time.

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