Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Players get ‘Wyrd’ in Macbeth parody



Players get ‘Wyrd’ in Macbeth parody

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Wyrd Sisters is a parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Eliah Lillis

Players get ‘Wyrd’ in Macbeth parody

The Phnom Penh Players theatre troupe is back this Friday with a stage adaptation of Wyrd Sisters, Terry Pratchett’s 1988 parodic reimagining of Macbeth.

The production is a comedy, adapted for the stage by writer Stephen Briggs, which turns Shakespearean tragedy Macbeth on its head. In this version of the classic tale of a murdered king, a treasonous duke and duchess and a kingdom in peril, it’s up to a ragtag coven of witches – Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick – to save the land.

Director Kevan Stuart, a massive fan of the sci-fi writer Pratchett, says Wyrd Sisters seemed fitting as a twisted story around Macbeth, which the Phnom Penh Players is preparing to stage later in the year.

Describing the characters as “fascinating”, he says he especially enjoys the reinterpretation of the witches, who are presented as evil in Macbeth, whereas “[in Wyrd Sisters] the witches are portrayed as evil [by the duke and duchess] but they are not”.

Granny (played by Noreen Crowley) is the most powerful witch in the land, who “tends to regard others as naughty schoolchildren”. Like a strict but well-meaning teacher, she believes that people should be given what they need and not what they want. She has no qualms about “practising psychology on [others] to get them to do what she wants” for the good of the country.

“Granny never lets on when she doesn’t know something. She’s got this cool way of being sure about herself,” Crowley says.

Nanny (played by Alli Bukys) is the good-hearted but self-centred matriarch of her tribe, more “concerned about her next drink and where her next meal is coming” until the world goes to pieces and she whips into action. Magrat (Paula Willis), fresh out of her apprenticeship, is the naïve young one of the three. She has a penchant for the dramatics associated with being a witch, such as gothic style, occult jewellery and banishing demons. With her own set of romantic but impractical ideals of how a witch should be, she is disappointed by the reality of her overly pragmatic fellow witches.

“When Magrat is annoyed, she stamps and flounces off,” Willis says. “[It’s like being] a teenager again without all the other emotional baggage that actually comes with it.”

With a cast of 19 playing 31 characters, Stuart advises theatre-goers to take note of recurring actors who come back as minor characters with one-liners. “Often those lines are the funniest in the entire scene, or the most important,” he says.

“It’s really very funny, if you’ve got a British dry sense of humour.”

Wyrd Sisters will be showing tonight and Saturday at the Department of Performing Arts, Street 173, at 7pm and March 3-4. Tickets cost $10 and are available at Box Office, Showbox, Eleven One Kitchen and Tusk. All proceeds go to OIC Cambodia, an organisation dedicated to speech therapy in Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group