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HMP Macbeth - Intermission Youth Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

INTERMISSION Youth Theatre is presenting HMP Macbeth, a modern re-telling of a Shakespearean classic, from October 31 to November 23, 2013.

Set in a female prison, Macbeth is an officer loyal to his Governor, Ms Duncan. However, after an encounter with the strange inmates whose prophecy is that Macbeth will be Governor, he is no longer satisfied to remain loyal to his boss.

Together with serving inmate Lady Macbeth, with whom he has a secret affair, they plot to kill the Governor and frame a fellow inmate. Although Macbeth has misgivings about killing the Governor, his evil lover convinces him that it is the thing to do.

His lust for power throws the entire prison into chaos, but in the end will his own greed and guilt defeat him?

The play, written by Darren Raymond and directed by Fabian Spencer, is set in the modern day and explores the themes of ambition without moral constraints, violence, temptation, fate, free will and deception.

Now in its fifth year, Intermission Youth Theatre uses drama to engage young people from London’s inner-city communities who are at risk of offending or who lack opportunity. This work takes the form of drama workshops, where Shakespeare’s plays are worked and re-worked to bring forth themes and issues relevant in our world today.

Previous productions include The Ring of Envy, inspired by Othello, exploring the theme of manipulation through social media; The Playground, inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, themed around substance abuse; Verona Road, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, covering the theme of post code rivalry; and Wasted, inspired by Julius Caesar, which tackled knife crime.

With every IYT production, there is a ‘post show talk-back’ session between the actors and audience, and on the HMP Macbeth press night (October 31) a panel will be created which, like any of the talk-back sessions, will centre around the performance; address issues that arose through the performance; and the idea of empowering young people through the theatre.

However, the notion of whether or not Shakespeare’s work should be ‘left as it is’, or whether modern day adaptations like Darren Raymond’s are ‘suitable’, will also be discussed.

The youth mentor Lindsay Johns has agreed to be a part of this panel. At the Tory Conference on October 1, Johns claimed that classical literature from ‘dead white men’ is imperative to empowering our young people and therefore should not be adapted to appeal to our youth culture today.

Tickets: £15 (concessions available). To book, visit www.iyt.org.uk/.

Time: Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Intermission Theatre, St Saviour’s Church, Walton Place, London, SW3 1SA