‘Mesmerising and moving performance’ of Parallel Macbeth

In January audiences saw local young people take to the stage of the Clare theatre for their Young Vic debuts. The cast of 15-19 year olds were taking on Shakespeare’s Macbeth in response to Carrie Cracknell and Lucy Guerin’s main house production.

Parallel Macbeth - Photo Helen Murray

Parallel Macbeth was performed by a group of 14 young people at the Young Vic from Jan 28th-30th. Photo by Helen Murray.

Most of the young cast were from Southwark or Lambeth London and a few are refugees who are new to the UK. The company first met director Caroline Byrne in late October 2015 and they started exploring the play and the themes of the story through workshops and movement sessions. Many of the company had never engaged with Macbeth or Shakespeare at all and most had never performed prior to this.

Parallel Macbeth Cast - Photo Helen Murray

The cast of Parallel Macbeth. Photo by Helen Murray.

Members of the cast from the Main House production of Macbeth attended the dress rehearsal of Parallel Macbeth and were blown away by what the young company had created. ‘It was an incredible performance! Feel privileged to have been there. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it’ said John Heffernan, who played Macbeth at the Young Vic. Prasanna Puwanarajah who featured as Banquo in Carrie Cracknell’s production was also very encouraging, ‘it’s as good a production of a play by Shakespeare as I’ve seen in its detail and power. Incredible, mesmerising and moving performance, filled with vivid characters moments and movements’.

Movement was key to portraying Macbeth’s downfall in this Parallel Production, similar to Cracknell’s main house version, with very little text being used in the live performance. Byrne found the creative process, ‘a joyous discovery and journey with a unique and talented group of young people’.

All of Young Vic Taking Part’s Parallel Productions are created in response to shows from the current season and are produced by professional creative teams who guide the company through workshops and rehearsals to the production, which take place in the Clare theatre.

Find out more about the work Taking Part do with young people and how you can continue to support the Young Vic’s work.

Macbeth was performed at the Young Vic from 26 Nov 2015 until 23 Jan 2016 before touring to Birmingham Rep and HOME in Manchester.

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