One-man shows on a Shakespearean theme are nothing new. Neither are comedic takes on the Bard’s work, such as Tom Stoppard’s Fifteen Minute Hamlet. MacBETTI, which is directed by Anu Niemi, stars Heidi Niemi as ‘ the Star’ and Gus Kennedy Jacob as ‘the Prompter’. Initially beginning with Heidi performing a truncated performance of the first Act, she relaxes into the role and introduces more slapstick elements and physical humour – much like the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged).
As MacBETTI progresses, half the fun in watching is seeing how Heidi gets to play all the major characters using a minimum change of clothing and exaggerated body language. Jacob’s ‘Prompter’ is a welcome addition to the mix, becoming in effect a sounding board for the Star’s antics and playing some of the show’s ‘minor’ roles .
For those looking for a in-depth show about women taking on an iconic male character, this comedy won’t be your ‘cup of tea’. However, if you like your ‘Scottish Play’ with ‘out-of-place’ colourful language, site gags aplenty and audience interaction, this may tickle your funny bone.
© Michael Davis 2017
MacBETTI ran at Camden People’s Theatre from 16th-20th May. It will also be running at the Brighton Fringe Festival on 30th and 31st May,