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BA Theatre Design students take on Shakespeare’s Macbeth

a photograph of a scene in BA Theatre Design student's Macbeth interpretation. Two characters are shown, one is pointing a gun at the other. Their silhouettes are shown on the wall behind them.
  • Written bySharine Chan
  • Published date 16 June 2021
a photograph of a scene in BA Theatre Design student's Macbeth interpretation. Two characters are shown, one is pointing a gun at the other. Their silhouettes are shown on the wall behind them.
BA Theatre Design group performance of Macbeth
BA (Hons) Theatre Design, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

BA Theatre Design second year students have been tasked this term with creating and performing their own interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

Working in groups which mixed students working both online and on-site, the project culminated in a series of performances here at Wimbledon’s lecture theatre in front of a small (Covid-19 safe) audience.

Second-year tutor, Sophie Jump led the project. Students created all elements of the production from the props and costumes to the digital design for the performance as well as rehearsing with professional actors and director to realise the performances.

We spoke to Ieva Ievina who worked in a group alongside Sahar Gilabadi, Dakshini Niyathapala, Chon Hang Fong and Zhenhong Yang. She told us about their group’s experience.

Macbeth

Macbeth performance at Wimbledon College of Arts, 2021.

Designers: Sahar Gilabadi, Dakshini Niyathapala, Chon Fong, Zhenhong Yang and Leva Levina. 
Directors: Glen Neath, Franny Rafferty 
Actors: Prashant Nager, Wesley Jordache Bozonga, Chioma Nwalioba and Prashant Nagartaking.

Please tell us about the process of creating this performance

This was a challenging yet invaluable experience since the creative process of theatre making is deeply collaborative.

We were provided with 2 directors, Glen Neath, Franny Rafferty, and 3 actors to work with us. It all started with profound research and analysis of the play. We were discussing Shakespeare and dissecting the themes within our groups. We presented our findings and thoughts to other groups, and then created a final mood board to take to our first meeting with our given director.

After an onsite meeting with director and actors, we started creating the props, costumes, testing the projection designs and lights and sound. After an intense but very fun week we had our tech rehearsal and dress run.

It was an extremely fast- paced project that involved various challenges including the strict onsite Covid restrictions. Nevertheless, it was incredible! I missed live theatre so much!

a photograph of a scene in BA Theatre Design’s Macbeth interpretation. Red lighting is showing silhouettes of the actors of stage.
BA Theatre Design students creating work for the project 
BA (Hons) Theatre Design, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

How did each group's performances differ?

It was wonderful to see how different the outcomes were. Each group’s performance looked at a unique angle of the play. We each had to create a 20 min live performance. There were some very intimate, suspenseful, and dramatic adaptations and some comical, interactive, and immersive.

What was your role in the project?

My group was multi-tasking, and everyone was involved in every aspect of creation. We each oversaw an area on the project. For instance, I was more involved in the projection and sound design. I would say that we risked it a bit by in not delegating specific roles.. However, because of the fantastic communication within my group, the collaborative process worked out brilliantly.

2 students wearing facemasks are kneeling on the floor both working on a cardboard structure.
BA Theatre Design Macbeth Interpretation
BA (Hons) Theatre Design, Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL

Can you tell us what your highlight was from this project?

I would say it was the dress run because that was the first time we saw the finished outcome with complete set, costumes, light, sound, visual media, actors off-script etc. I was so proud of my group!

How does it feel to be back working onsite?

It feels very lovely! As much I enjoy virtual work and creating a digital design, there is just something so magical in people being together in a room brainstorming ideas, discussing, experimenting with materials, and producing wonderful results just through improvisation.

Find out more about BA Theatre Design