Review: Streaming 'Macbeth' is Stylish and Chilling

by Joe Siegel

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday October 7, 2021

Jeff Church in "Macbeth"
Jeff Church in "Macbeth"  (Source:Burbage Theatre Company )

For their opening to the 2021-2022 season, Burbage Theatre Company has produced a stylish and chilling feature-film adaptation of the classic Shakespeare tragedy of "Macbeth."

Jeff Church (Thom Pain) stars as the Scottish general who kills King Duncan (Ricardo Pitts-Wiley) and takes his place on the throne, with much encouragement and assistance from his wife, Lady Macbeth. Macbeth's paranoia and massive ego results in many deaths and misery for his opponents.

Banquo (Brian Kozak) poses a threat to Macbeth because of the prophecy that Banquo's descendants will inherit the throne. Macbeth arranges for Banquo and his son Fleance to be killed. At his state banquet, Macbeth sees the ghost of Banquo, and worries the courtiers with his disturbing behavior.

Church, who also adapted, directed, and edited this streamed version, delivers a mesmerizing performance as Macbeth, expertly conveying the madness which dwells inside his soul. Church's delivery of Macbeth's final monologue is stunning.

Rachel Dulude (foreground), Valerie Westgate, Aaron Blanck, and Maggie Papa în "Macbeth"  

Rachel Dulude ("The House of Blue Leaves") is sympathetic as the doomed Lady Macbeth, who comes to regret her treachery in service of her husband.

Aaron Blanck, Maggie Papa, and Valerie Westgate ("Edward II") play the evil witches who predict Macbeth's ascension to the throne. They are quite unsettling as they cast their spells and cackle with glee.

I also was impressed by Victor Neto ("The School For Lies") as Macduff, an earnest nobleman whose family is slaughtered by Macbeth. After learning of the deaths of his wife and children, a vengeful Macduff convinces his friend Malcolm (Tobias Wilson), Duncan's son, to lead an army to fight Macbeth.

Andrew Iacovelli's black and white cinematography lends the story a surreal and hypnotic quality. Characters are always stepping out of — and into — shadows and darkness. It's symbolic of the duality of human nature, the good and the evil which live inside all of us.

Devon Russo's music perfectly enhances the emotions of the story.

"Macbeth" has endured through the years as a portrait of unrestrained ambition and the horrors resulting from vanity and greed. This version deserves to take its place among the finest adaptations.


"Macbeth" will be shown on Burbage's YouTube channel through October 31. For more information, visit www.burbagetheatre.org.

Joe Siegel has written for a number of other GLBT publications, including In newsweekly and Options.