Capital “T” Theatre.
This is what happens when goblins read “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.”
Last night, Jennifer (Panda) and I went out on a date. We Uber’d downtown for dinner and drinks at The Bear and Kilt before wandering up the street to Vertigo Theatre. Our evening’s entertainment was “Goblin Macbeth,” created and performed by friends and Loose Moose Alumni Rebecca Northan, Bruce Horak, and Ellis Lalonde.
The Bear and Kilt was decent as always and it was nice to be in a pub drinking frothy pints of Guinness, talking about our upcoming short films and other creative projects we have brewing. Do we bring back the podcast? If so, what does it look and sound like? Will we make another push for our travel adventure show, “Dropbear and Panda Were Here: Pacific Coast Edition?” Do we reprise “Stumped” for stage or film? Or do we look at producing a BIG PLAY in 2023/2024, and would we do it here in Calgary or on Vancouver Island?
So many projects and plans. We’re lucky Jennifer set her alarm, so we didn’t miss our show.
Frankly, I didn’t know what I expected from “Goblin Macbeth” other than a fun night out at the theatre watching friends perform. I am no Shakespearologist, nor do I read a lot of Tolkien. Still, I can say with absolute certainty that if goblins ever found “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” and decided to take over a theatre to perform Macbeth, this is precisely how it would go.
Rebecca Goblin and Bruce Goblin played all of the named characters in the play, while Ellis Goblin provided live musical accompaniment, sound effects, and the occasional supplemental character.
I had the privilege of performing live foley beside Ellis’ live music in last year’s Chrismoose Carol 2021 (The Original Live Radio Broadcast of Chrismoose Carol Live On Stage), so I knew what to expect, but dear god, that man is talented. He always adds just the right amount of musicality and soundscape to serve the story and never distract. Brilliant.
The play followed the traditional arc and beats of the Macbeth we all know and love, expertly interspersed with the Goblins reacting and interpreting Shakespearian verse and occasionally breaking the fourth wall to engage the audience and each other. When I say “expertly interspersed,” it was never overdone or took the audience out of the moment. Instead, I found these moments — asides within asides — were the perfect resting places, so I wasn’t overwhelmed by the chaos of the play and two goblins playing a dozen characters.
Every frame was a painting. I was constantly struck by how simple and perfect the set and lighting design were throughout the play. I lost count of the times I wanted to reach for a camera and grab a frame of the tableau set in front of us.
There was also just enough audience participation allowing us to be a part of the performance without being distracting. It made me feel like we were in an adult version of a Loose Moose Theatre for Kids show — the perfect seasoning to include and engage an audience in a 90-minute production with no intermission. Time flew by.
Like many of us, if you ever wondered what would happen if Goblins took over a theatre to perform a seminal work of The Bard, wonder no more. Go see this show.
I didn’t mean for this post to be a review of the “Goblin Macbeth,” but here it is, you got a review.