" All the world´s a stage!”
The students at Heinrich-Ehrhardt-Gymnasium in Zella-Mehlis took that quote by William Shakespeare very seriously as the students of grades 10,11 and 12 enjoyed Shakespeare´s timeless masterpiece “Macbeth” on Wednesday, 28thNovember 2018. The modernized play was presented by native English speakers. The students had the opportunity to experience amazing dramatic art and the actors’ unique language. Murder, uncontrolled greed for power, justice, and the question whether fate determines everyone’s life are themes of this play.
“Macbeth” is one of Shakespeare’s last and darkest tragedies and was even successful in 1660 after the theatres had got reopened. Today, this play is performed at any theatre in the world. The play is about the royal military leader in the 11thcentury’s Scotland, Macbeth, whose development represents the main plot of this amazing play.
At the beginning three witches prophesy Macbeth to become “Thane of Cawdor” and later King of Scotland. As the first prophecy becomes reality, Macbeth’s desire to get more and more power is growing. His wife, Lady Macbeth, greedy for power, forces him to speed things up. The assassination of King Duncan is the beginning of a chain of numerous crimes which should satisfy the couples´evil desires. But after all, the culprits lose their minds and humanity because of these horrible acts.The end of the tragedy is Macbeth’s and his wife’s doom.
The fact of English culture becoming a successful tradition is shown clearly by this year's fifth performance. After "Alice in Wonderland" in the previous year, London’s drama group "Dreampark-Theatre" brought during their six-week tour through France and Germany with "Modern Macbeth" probably the most challenging work so far to Zella-Mehlis (this year).
Despite some extensive changes in language, location and time - "Modern Macbeth" is set in today’s London - the original themes and intentions of Shakespeare's masterpiece have been preserved. During the play the three incredibly talented actors, two British men and a Norwegian woman, constantly changed their roles but could be easily distinguished by their typical clothing. The comprehensibility of the drama was also increased by repeatedly inserted film sequences such as recent news of terrorist attacks, scenes of violence or simple symbols. Thus, less linguistically talented spectators could understand the plot as well.
We and our classmates really enjoyed the show and look forward to the next time. It is always a challenging experience to see acting so close. Therefore you should take every opportunity to do so. We sincerely hope that this tradition can be maintained in the future to offer as many students as possible the opportunity to experience language and drama first-hand.
Lukas Grajewski, Niklas Hentschke, Vivien Hornawsky, 11b