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Trono de Sangue (Throne of Blood/Macbeth), the title of Brazilian director Antunes Filho’s staging of the Shakespearean tragedy, refers explicitly to Akira Kurosawa’s film, and puts into relief its intermedial characteristics. The director carried his well-known devotion to the cinema into the aesthetics of spectacle which resulted in a beautiful visual achievement with clear references to Noh Theatre. For instance, the whitish/ashen made-up faces with thick painted eyebrows double traditional Noh masks and bring to the fore the fictional nature of theatre. By the same token, characters drag themselves along the stage in Noh fashion, underscoring desolation and despair. A distraught Lady Macbeth totters unsteadily with her shoulders curved, leaning against the walls as if her ambition was too heavy a burden to bear. A troubling feeling of reclusion and helplessness is conveyed by the bare stage and the naked white washed walls which contrast with the very shiny bright red floor, an allusion to the bloody battles that will be “lost and won”. Descending from the ceiling, the macabre witches come in the incarnation of the Parcae (the three fates). Antunes adapts the Shakespearean story with remarkable staging elements while inviting parallels with the political turbulence of 1992 Brazil, when the President was impeached.
- Read an M.A. thesis on how Brazilian critics received this production (in Portuguese).
- Read a Brazilian dissertation (written in English) which analyses different productions of Macbeth, including Antunes’ production, in chapter 5.
- Visit Antunes Filho’s Theatre Research Center (CPT)
- Watch a short documentary on Antunes Filho (in Portuguese)
Scenery: J. C. Serroni
Costumes: Romero de Andrade Lima
Sound track: Raul Teixeira
Lightning: Davi de Brito
Production: CPT/SESC-Grupo de Teatro Macunaíma.
Cast: Luis Melo, Samantha Monteiro, Hélio Cícero, Adilson Azevedo, Walter Portella, André Correa, Germano Melo, Luiz Mario Vicente, Geraldo Mario, André Gontijo, Carlos Landucci, Gustavo Bayer, Jaime Queiroz, José D´Angelo, Roberto Áudio, Luiz Mário Vicente, Ondina de Castilho, Pedro Paulo Eva, Robert Pratusiavicius.
venue: Teatro SESC-Anchieta (São Paulo)
Production notes provided by: Cris Busato Smith and Liana de Camargo Leão