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Puppets of Darkness Take Over

Puppets of Darkness Take Over

"By the pricking of our thumbs..."

This October sees a new adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy of over-weening ambition, Macbeth, brought to the stage by Victoria University of Wellington performance club, Dionysiac. This production focuses strongly on the eponymous character and his wife. Director, and script editor, Neal Barber anchors his production in the way the witches treat the Macbeths are their puppets. "Instead of seeing the witches as bit players who stop by every now and then to make sure the seeds of their prophecies are finding fertile ground, we have the witches constantly watering those seeds to ensure proper flourishing" says Mr Barber of the concept.

Changing the focus allows the production to work with just seven actors. "The first things to go were all the minor characters and sub-plots." Any characters lucky enough to survive Mr Barber's axe are all played by the witches who, quite literally, construct the world in which the Macbeths are immersed. "The action is much more direct with a much larger percentage devoted to watching the Macbeths' relationship unfold rather dallying on irritating sub-plots about the equivocatory powers of wine or that the English are 'liberating' Scotland from a nasty, naughty man." Our actions are not our own when the agents of malevolence control the way we see the world.

About Dionysiac

Dionysiac is an Incorporated Society formed in March 2013. It was started by a group of current students at Victoria University of Wellington with a couple of the University's Alumni. Dionysiac aims to allow members to improve their performance skills by participating in productions presented for the public's enjoyment. Macbeth is Dionysiac's first production.

About the Creatives

Neal Barber - Director: Neal graduated with a BA (Hons) in English and a PGDipArts in Theatre Studies from the University of Otago and is currently studying towards his PGDipIS at VUW. During his undergraduate, he directed productions at the Globe and Fortune Theatres in Dunedin and for Spectrum Theatre at the University of Virginia. His directing highlights include the New Zealand Premiere of Claire by C.E. Gatchalian, The Maids by Jean Genet, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, The Bacchae adapted from Euripides by Jonathan Wicken, and Shakespeare's Winter's Tale, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Twelfth Night. Neal has also served on the Friends of the Globe Theatre Executive Committee (not to mention being the current President of Dionysiac) and as Theatre/Performance Editor for Critic and Salient. This production is not only Neal's debut directing for Dionysiac but also in Wellington...

Taryn Meltzer - Movement Director: Taryn has been dancing all her life in a variety of styles, but for the last eight years she has focused on belly dance. While she has been involved in a variety of productions as a dancer, singer, and actor Macbeth is her first opportunity to be part of the production team, focusing on mood, choreography, and general witchy creepiness. She has very much enjoyed pushing actors around while muttering about animal spirits and leading from the shoulder blades.

Jeremy "Jezza" Peters - Master of Swords, Producer: Jezza has been involved in many productions and short films over the last 11 years, filling many roles including technical advisor, stage manager and producer. During these 11 years, Jezza has been training in the art of fencing, and is currently training to be a full coach. This production is Jezza's debut as a sword choreographer.

Cast: Katie Boyle (Third-Year Theatre student at VUW), Morgan Collins (First Year Biomedical Science student at VUW), Kris Evans-Fee (First Year Film and Philosophy student at VUW), Laura Gardner (First Year English and Criminology student at VUW), Georgia Latief (First Year Theatre and Media Studies student at VUW), and Isabelle Oskam (First Year Psychology student at VUW).

Dionysiac Presents


Edited and Directed by Neal Barber

Memorial Theatre, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
October 2013

6th, 2pm, $5 unwaged, $10 waged

7th, 7pm, $12 unwaged, $17 waged

8th & 9th, 8pm, $12 unwaged, $17 waged

Tickets may be booked by emailing dionysiacnz@gmail.com

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