Macbeth after Shakespeare: U.S. Premiere at La MaMa, New York City







The arts-and-culture magazine in the theater of One World announces its top-10 picks for the world's best theater of 2011: In the theater of One World acclaimed critic, Randy Gener, declares "Macbeth After Shakespeare" among the world's best theater of 2011.

Macbeth After Shakespeare, a Slovenian/Croatian staging of the Heiner Muller drama, is described as "stunning" and "a revelation".

»Highly and with no qualifications I recommend the Slovenian Heiner Muller MACBETH that is now at the Annex. The whole show is a revelation. It made me want to learn Slovenian and be a member of the company, those actors are so amazing. The director Ivica Buljan is a world-class provocateur. It's a must-see!«

Randy Gener, acclaimed critic, the Nathan Award-winning editor, writer and conceptual artist in New York City

»This is unquestionably the greatest and most explosive performance of a roaring wreck of a hero that the New York theatre has seen since Mark Rylance’s star turn in Jerusalem.«

»Extremely physical, muscular and loud, Buljan’s minimal production places Macbeth in a bleak, bloody and amoral wasteland where violence begets violence with no end in sight. Muller adds characters and scenes, most notably a peasant killed for not paying rent, his body eaten by dogs as his widow and son attempt to retrieve him. We are brought into a world where the violence perpetrated by the ruling class trickles down to the common man, where the brutal and brutish warrior class indulges in orgies, drink and debauchery between bouts of frenzied blood lust. No one is innocent, no one untouched.«

»Through the course of Buljan’s production, Marko Mandić’s Macbeth — drunk on the possibility of more power— becomes a despot as bloodthirsty as Henigman’s imposing King Duncan was before him.  Müller slashed and burned through many of Macbeth’s long soliloquies and rueful meditations, so Macbeth’s bloody takeover of the Scottish throne could have easily translated as yet another banal critique of the takeover of the state authority.  Buljan, however, refuses to take easy shortcuts.  And Mandić’s Macbeth rises to mythic yet hyper-realistic heights.«

»Flashing red police lights streak across the stage’s dark expanse.  The air is thick with the smell of danger and testosterone and murder and evil.   Seven lean young tough guys, mostly dark-haired and haughty and without shirts on, radiate militant aggression on a wide semicircle of folding chairs.  They might be in a Balkan war camp or an underground fight club.«

»Garbed in a plain gray-green military outfit and played by the mesmerizing actor Marko Mandić, Macbeth waits on the sidelines, like a cat ready to pounce (just as as the rest of the actors do when it isn’t their turn to perform).«

»After his breakdown at his calamitous coronation celebration, Macbeth is literally stripped naked by his cohorts to expose the even more unrelenting force of malevolence that lies beneath the outward man. Mandi? delivers a performance of unabashed epic dimension.«

»It was such a pleasure seeing Macbeth After Shakespeare yesterday. I was taken into a fantastic journey but, at the same time, as in Brecht, was reminded that I was in the theater, and that violence and lust are as present in my life as in the lives of the characters. Congratulations to Mini teater!«

»All the actors voices were amazing. The voices are very rooted, even though they have to do all that movement and fighting. I especially enjoyed the performances of Lady Macbeth (Zupancic) and Banquo (Vetrih) - perhaps because of the feminine in such a male play - while all the actors combine force with vulnerability and work really well with the contradictions presented. The smell of the meat almost gave me a headache and somehow I became as dirty as the actors.«

Carlos Caldart, profesor at Stella Adler studio of Acting, New York

»As Macbeth was left stripped nude and vulnerable by the witches … as I watched the carnage and the violation, mixed in with a wild coronation party in which Macbeth and Lady Macbeth handed out eatables and drinkables to the audience members and tried their darnedest to get us to shout along with them, “Long live Macbeth!” (but in Slovenian) … as all this agony unfolded before my eyes, two tears fell down my cheeks. One from each side. And yet, I felt no pain.«