“By the pricking of my thumbs, something silly this way comes”
Last night I joined an audience of 400 to sit under the trees and watch Oddsocks Theatre perform their unique take on “the Scottish play” – Shakespeare’s Macbeth. We enjoyed a spirited and very funny performance, surviving two rain showers (South Leeds folk are a hardy breed), fortified by tea and cake supplied by Friends of Middleton Park.
Oddsocks walk a tricky tightrope between knockabout farce and the high drama of Shakespeare. They do it fantastically well staying true to the Bard’s words and plots but making it all very accessible. All the main speeches were here: “Is this a dagger I see before me?”, “Out, out damn spot”. It was the first time I’ve heard “This is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing” be greeted by an “Aww” from the audience as if they had seen a cute kitten.
The players lighten the performance with witty asides, bad puns, outrageous overacting and audience participation. I particularly enjoyed being part of Birnam Wood moving to Dunsinane without having to leave my chair and shouting “Och Aye The Noo!” whenever Macduff appeared on stage.
Thanks to the Friends of Middleton Park who have brought Oddsocks to this lovely spot by the lake for a number of years now. It really is a highlight of the ever expanding South Leeds cultural scene.