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Macbeth: A Surround Sound Experiment

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Knock at the Gate / Online / Stage

“Fair is foul, and foul is fair: / Hover through the fog and filthy air,” chant the three witches at the start of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Bard’s most atmospheric play lends itself well to experiments in immersion—see, the Obie-winning, site-specific Sleep No More. The Actors Fund’s latest adaptation is yet another example of such innovation. Taking advantage of the stageless form imposed by the pandemic, it creates a creepy Scottish landscape through sound alone. Recorded in 24 hours, the play’s cast of 14 worked in isolation but the result is an incredibly cohesive and moody recreation of the spooky, necromantic tragedy, the actors aided by howling winds, distant echoes, and whispering candle flames. Perfect for Halloween, the show—which stars Tamara Tunie, Laila Robins, and Derek Wilson—is meant to be enjoyed in the dark with a cocktail. Make it a Bloody Mary. —C.J.F.

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