Despite advances in digital technology, theatre performances are still a form of entertainment that the audience usually has to experience in person; however, the Stratford Festival is introducing a new way to enjoy the theatre by presenting teaming up with Cineplex locations across Canada. On Mar. 18, over 60 different Cineplex locations, including the Fredericton Cineplex, screened the Stratford Festival’s Macbeth.
Held in Stratford, ON, the Stratford Festival is “North America’s largest classical repertory theatre,” internationally acclaimed for its presentation of the works by William Shakespeare and other classical and contemporary works.
Anita Gaffney, executive director of the Stratford Festival, said that she is excited about this opportunity to showcase their production to a national audience.
“As Canada celebrates its 150th anniversary, we are delighted to give people across the country an opportunity to experience the best of the Stratford Festival.”
Directed by Antoni Cimolino, this production of Macbeth has been praised for its realistic portrayal of the 11th century and a “chilling” interpretation of Shakespeare’s classic. In fact, Gaffney noted that “[this production] was one of the top-selling Shakespeare productions in the Festival’s 64-year history.”
Ian Lake and Krystin Pellerin each star as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. They have both been praised for their performances that are captivating in their unusualness. With their performances, and the artistic direction by Cimolino, this play will be “a production that will haunt your dreams and leave you tingling.”
Though Macbeth is an English classic set in Scotland, the Stratford Festival’s production of this play still has some Canadian elements to it: the two leads are from British Columbia and Newfoundland, respectively, and it features music by Canadian artist Steven Page.
The Stratford Festival said that this screening is only the beginning — their goal is to have all of Shakespeare’s plays in high definition.
Brad LaDouceur, vice president of Event Cinema, Cineplex, said, “Our commitment to bringing the best on-stage performances to the big screen continues with a new season of the Stratford Festival’s film series.”
Both LaDouceur and Gaffney expressed their excitement that the Canadian audience will be able to enjoy another form of art. “As a proudly Canadian company, we’re excited that audiences from coast to coast will be able to celebrate Canada 150 by experiencing some of the best theatre productions our country has to offer at their local Cineplex theatre,” said LaDouceur.