After 66 years since its last staging, Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth returned to the stage of the Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Zajc in the direction of Eduard Miler, with Ozren Grabarić and Olivera Baljak portraying Macbeth and Lady Macbeth in this "cursed" tale of insatiable power, blind ambition, and the thirst for authority.
"The text is an anatomical portrayal of the birth and death of a tyrant. The history of humanity is written through the reigns of tyrants, and Macbeth is a story about who these people are and what they are like. They are the ones pushing us into wars like a boiling pot. The text contains numerous excellent thoughts that are highly relevant today. One of them, paraphrased, is: in the world, there are many villains, far more than honorable people, and because they are in the majority, they would be foolish not to hang the honest ones," says director Eduard Miler.
"What is the generator of the manic ambition of Lady Macbeth and Macbeth? Is it the crown, power, authority, money?" asks the adaptation author and dramaturge Žanina Mirčevska and continues: "The Macbeth syndrome is barrenness, both factual and metaphorical. Both try to compensate with power for something crucial to them, but unfortunately, it cannot be compensated with a crown. It is an insatiable hunger for something missing, an insatiable feeling of deprivation. We live in an age of universal greed, and, unsurprisingly, this play hits us directly in the solar plexus."
In addition to Ozren Grabarić in the titular role, all other roles are entrusted to a powerful female cast. Alongside national drama prima donna Olivera Baljak as Lady Macbeth, Jelena Lopatić plays Banquo, Ivna Bruck as Macduff, Aleksandra Stojaković Olenjuk as Malcolm and the First Murderer, Ana Marija Brđanović as Officer and Third Murderer, Leonora Surian Popov as Duncan, Andreja Brozović Adžić-Kapitanović as Fleance, Third Apparition, and Doctor Ana Vilenica as Lady Macduff, Nika Grbelja as Macduff's Son, and Sabina Salamon as Donalbain and Second Murderer.
Set and video design are by Atej Tuta, costume design by Jelena Proković; music selection by Eduard Miler; choreography by Andreja Brozović Adžić-Kapitanović; Assistant director is Maja Ležaić, costume designer assistant is Saša Dragaš, and proofreader is Zrinka Kolak Fabijan.
In the 1606 story that has intrigued and fascinated audiences for over four centuries, witches prophesy to the military commander Macbeth that he will become the king of Scotland. Encouraged by his ambitious wife and guided by the Machiavellian premise that "the end justifies the means," Macbeth kills the Scottish king and anyone else who stands in his way, plunging into madness and darkness with no return...
Shakespeare wrote Macbeth as a dedication to King James I, the first Scottish king of the Stuart dynasty who ruled England and became king a few years before the play was first performed.