Adam (Peter Mark Kendall) is about to embark on a weighty task of directing a production of Macbeth on the stage. A play filled with myth and mystery, not only within Shakespeare’s words, but because of the rumoured curse that supposedly surrounds the play. He doesn’t believe in all that though, so he gathers his cast and they begin rehearsals.
However, things start to happen to the cast such as people hurting themselves and actors suddenly getting sore throats and it doesn’t seem to be going well. This leaves Sydney (Tina Benko) who’s playing Lady Macbeth starting to think that there may be something in it, something which is made all the worse when she meets William Shakespeare (Will Brill) himself.
So, is Sydney’s anxiety becoming manifest, or has the bard really returned to help her on her journey?
The Scottish Play is a love letter to Shakespeare written and directed by Keith Boynton which may take a little suspension of disbelief to fully engage with. In any other hands, The Scottish Play would feel either like a high concept comedy or a highly pretentious story written by an American about England’s greatest writer. Not to mention the ambiguity of Shakespeare’s true nature within the film itself.
There’s a lot to absorb as well because there are many things that audiences will have to overcome. You either love Shakespeare or you hate him for one, secondly there’s the idea that an American has made a film about Shakespeare and dared to suggest that he could have done better. There’s also the supernatural element which is never truly explained. However, it seems that the combination does work.
Boynton’s script never feels too much of one thing or another though, so the audience may be expecting something more generic only to be surprised. Will Brill as the famous playwright also does a great job at bringing him to life, which is also thanks to Boynton’s script who manages to put together a voice for Shakespeare that even the most uncultured heathen may understand.
The careful and deliberate mismatch of genres seems to work rather well in the end. Although it may get a bit heavy for those less interested in centuries old theatre, those who love it will embrace it wholeheartedly.
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