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Jerry Cutler On Theatre: ‘Dunsinane’–Brilliant At The Wallis

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 – 11:12 PM

My wife is Scottish and reads Robert–Robby, to her–Burns in the original. 

Her mother spoke with a brogue so thick it could cut a slice through a blanketed Scottish fog with ease. After a number of years, I finally began to understand her.  It served as a precursor for me as the audience and my wife laughed out loud at every nuance and witticism spoken by the performers on the creative set of the beautiful Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

A brilliant cast of Scottish and English actors perform in Dunsinane (through Sunday), which is the disguised sequel of Macbeth though one need not know the Shakespearean classic to appreciate this play.

It opens when English soldiers invade a fractioned Scotland in order to place the laid back, unassertive, Malcolm (Ewan Donald) on the throne. They are met by the slain king’s wife, Gruach, (a magnificent Siobhan Redmond), who promptly seduces the English commanding officer, Siward (an equally adept Darrell D’Silva).

Their conversations with one another are pivotal as writer David Greig keeps us riveted touching on the inevitability of the world’s continuing friction, war, casualties and misunderstanding. It is a sad, but nevertheless concerned commentary on today’s “Tower of Babel” Middle East.

The combination of laughter with serious overtones, make for a compelling and moving theatrical experience.

3-1/2 bagels out of 4

Jerry Cutler is rabbi at Creative Arts Temple.

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