Review: Macbeth at Falcon’s Eye Theatre

Thanes and their thirst for blood—typical landowning, royal males.

Thanes and their thirst for blood—typical landowning, royal males.

Photo courtesy of Ian Wallace

Showtimes:Thu 7:30pm, Fri 7:30pm, Sat 7:30pm, Sun 2pm. Through 11/18; $12-$20; Falcon’s Eye Theatre at Harris Center Stage Two, 10 College Parkway in Folsom; (916) 608-6888;
Rated 4.0

The Scottish play is hunkering down in Folsom, bringing with it wily witches, bloody battles and gobs of guilt. Falcon’s Eye Theatre at Folsom Lake College is presenting Shakespeare’s Macbeth—with the creative staging and strong production elements that are trademarks of stage designer Ian Wallace.

Macbeth is the shortest, most intense of the Bard’s stories, with what seems to be a murder a minute and endless backstabbing—both figuratively and literally. It’s the story of Scottish general Macbeth believing a bevy of witches who prophesied his rise to king.

There are some strong performances—including Ryan Pullen as Macbeth and Stephanie Hodson as “out-damned-spot” Lady Macbeth—and the last half really pulls the audience into the dark world of doubt, distrust and devastation.

However, there were a couple of stumbling blocks in the beginning that thankfully smoothed out by the end of the play. First, it took a while for the cast members to find their flow with the dense Shakespearean dialogue, though most eventually warmed up and delivered with assurance.

And then there’s the one production glitch that’s a major distraction: For the first third of the production, sheets of plastic line the walls and are bunched up onstage—creating distracting crinkling noises and awkward areas onstage. A shame, since when the plastic is finally removed and the stage fully exposed, it’s highly effective, stylized, steel-grated tiers, surrounded by walls that morph into mirrors, videos and various backgrounds. Out, damned plastic, out!