Doldowlod and Macbeth

IMAG1081In 2006, Phil Bowen and Sue Best planted a theatre near Llandrindod Wells. They built it from a living willow tree. It’s deep country, and it’s glorious. Since 2007 The Factory have been coming out once a year to bring something new. It’s a way of breaking in new members to the nature of the work we do. We have a loyal audience who are completely behind the way we work. It’s become a part of my theatre calendar that I’m always sad to miss. Last year I was in Dubrovnik. This year, though, I was free. I came up and played Banquo.

I’m not sure why I’ve often been Banquo through the years. “Doomed nice guy” was my suggestion when I was asked. He’s got edges though. It was lovely to explore those with the guys.

Unfortunately it hurts. I think I might have cracked or broken a rib. I’m in quite a high level of pain most of the time. If I’m honest, it really really fucking hurts. Thankfully there’s plenty of painkillers. I’ve just munched a load of codeine so I’m feeling pretty good right now. And I’ll probably have a glass of champagne on it so comprehensibility is going to be waning from here on in.

The shows were exactly what I love from Factory shows. People working together in the moment to create ephemeral joy. I hid my pain in the first show, and would’ve done so in the second as well, until Maz suggested I just use it. And fair point, it’s real. So Banquo was an invalid in the second show, which informed the fact that he didn’t expect to be able to go very fast on his horse.

Listening to the scenes I wasn’t in, some of the thoughts and arguments in Macbeth are so clear, so concise, so human. It’s an interesting play about the nature of bad ambition. I’m looking forward to digging deeper into it. These shows in Wales are just teething the project. Now we have a better sense of what this piece is we can dig deeper.

Now I’m heading back to Doldowlod Hall, where the direct descendant of James Watt is letting us stay in his mansion, with the continuation of his ancestors industrial revolution lucre. It’s the most beautiful place to stay, and they’re the most beautiful people to stay with. Loads of room, a swimming pool, long walks, sunshine, plenty of oak trees to fall out of. I’m in a minivan full of slightly tipsy actors who have just done two shows. I should probably get stuck into the singsong, as it might be a while before the 27 of us get together and do another beautiful crazy clear spontaneous show. But we will some time.

For now though I’ll shut this down and get on with being sociable. Here’s the theatre. God it’s glorious. And the perfect time of year to be here. Had it only been clear skies tonight, the full moon would’ve been visible and rising directly above the stage just as Duncan was murdered.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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