Marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here, explores one of Shakespeare’s most complex women.
This exciting and unique piece of dance theatre is created and directed by award-winning Company Chordelia’s artistic director Kally Lloyd-Jones and presented in co-production with Glasgow-based theatre company Solar Bear.
It’s a story about ambition, power, guilt, remorse, loss and death.
Paralleling Shakespeare’s time, a cast of three male dancers all play Lady Macbeth, exploring the relationship between masculinity and femininity.
Using Shakespeare’s language as the source, British Sign Language (BSL) is used to create choreography, producing a piece of visceral dance and movement theatre which will reach D/deaf and hearing audiences alike, in different ways.
Kally Lloyd-Jones said she wanted to shine the 21st century spotlight on Lady Macbeth’s story.
“Lady Macbeth is a fascinating character but her story recedes into the background in Shakespeare’s play and I wanted to shine a light on it, colour it in, bring it to the fore,” she said.
“I am sure many people, like me, find themselves fascinated by the BSL interpreters at performances.
“It is a visual, movement language and I have wanted to explore how that might become a foundation for choreography.”
Kally was “thrilled” when Gerry Ramage, the artistic director of Solar Bear, loved the idea so much that the company became co-producers.
“Using Shakespeare’s text as a starting point enabled a process that is part BSL-based choreography, part dance and part physical theatre, as universal visual languages,” she said.
Describing the new work as “ground-breaking”, Gerry added: “The work, which explores how British Sign Language may be interwoven into the physical language of the piece, continues our journey towards enriching the theatre going experience for D/deaf and hearing audiences alike.
“It is a stunning, powerful and very moving piece of dance and theatre and we are proud to be associated with it.”
Funded by Creative Scotland and formed in 2002, Company Chordelia challenges traditional dance boundaries, by bringing music, text, opera, theatricality, story-telling and design to all its productions.
From small scale rural touring to collaborations with Scottish Opera with a full scale orchestra, the company reaches out to audiences of all kinds.
Solar Bear was established in 2002 to address issues of inclusion, accessibility and diversity within the performing arts. The company works with a range of other underrepresented groups.
Lady Macbeth: Unsex Me Here, is at Birnam Arts on November 10 and the Byre Theatre, St Andrews, on November 13.