Seven Duets/Night Journey Learie Mc Nicolls, June 21-23, 2017

June 21 to 23, 2017, Artword Theatre presents a Contemporary Dance Showcase, curated by dancer-choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Featured is a new work, Seven Duets, choreographed and danced by Learie Mc Nicolls with Tanis Macarthur, exploring the lifts and falls in dance that can only be done with a partner.

Learie will also perform a new version of his solo work Night Journey, choreographed to selected recorded music by solo bassist Wilbert De Joode. This work was first presented in February (images below right).

Night Journey performed by Learie Mc Nicolls, Feb 22, 2017, real-time projections by Judith Sandiford

Lighting and visual design by Judith Sandiford features real-time projections.

The program will be repeated for three evenings. June 21-23, Wednesday to Friday, at 8 pm, $10 advance (call 905-543-8512) / $15 at door.

Video excerpt below of Seven Duets, June 2017, choreography by Learie Mc Nicolls, danced by Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls.

 

 

 

The Man in the Vault, Wed-Thur Apr 12-13, 2017

Wednesday and Thursday April 12-13, 2017. Artword Theatre presents The Man in the Vault by Ronald Weihs. Based on actual events, the play explores how a CIA counter-intelligence scandal in the 1960s telescopes into the present. What is the truth? How do you know if you have found it?
A staged reading performed by Val Kay, Tom Dusome, Sean Emberley and Learie Mc Nicolls.

This is the third in a series of monthly theatre projects in the works, with Artistic Director Ronald Weihs. The February edition (#1) was Langston Hughes vs Joe McCarthy, a reading based on testimony from the interrogation in 1953 interspersed with some of his poems. The March edition (#2) was Mind Wars: a theatre exploration about the 1960s, when politics became a struggle over reality and perception, with readings from actual testimony and interviews of the Yippies, Black Activists, the CIA, the FBI.

April 12-13, 2017, at 8 pm, pwyc/$10
To find out more, call 905-543-8512 or email: rweihs@artword.net, artword@artword.net

Artword Theatre: Mind Wars, Mar 15 & 16, 2017

Wednesday and Thursday March 15-16, 2017. Artword Theatre presents Mind Wars: a theatrical exploration about the 1960s, when politics became a struggle over reality and perception. Readings from actual testimony and interviews bring back the Yippies vs the CIA, Black Activists vs the FBI, brainwashing, mind control and propaganda of the era.
Conceived and assembled by director Ronald Weihs.
Performed by Pamela GardnerTom DusomeHoward JeromeTamara Buckland and Learie Mc Nicolls.
This is the second in a series of theatre projects in the works, with Artistic Director Ronald Weihs.
8 pm, pwyc/$10,  To find out more, call 905-543-8512 or email: rweihs@artword.net,

Excerpt: QUESTION: Will you please identify yourself for the record?
ABBIE: My name is Abbie. I am an orphan of America.

QUESTION: Where do you reside?
ABBIE: I live in Woodstock Nation.

QUESTION: Will you tell the Court and jury where it is?
ABBIE: Yes. It is a nation of alienated young people. We carry it around with us as a state of mind in the same way as the Sioux Indians carried the Sioux nation around with them. It is a nation dedicated to cooperation versus competition, to the idea that people should have better means of exchange than property or money, that there should be some other basis for human interaction. It is a nation dedicated to–

QUESTION: Just where it is, that is all. Nothing about philosophy or India, sir. Just where you live, if you have a place to live. Now you said Woodstock. In what state is Woodstock?
ABBIE: It is in the state of mind, in the mind of myself and my brothers and sisters. It is a conspiracy. Presently, the nation is held captive, in the penitentiaries of the institutions of a decaying system. ”

Scroogissimo! returns Nov 29 to Dec 11, 2016

November 29 to December 11, 2016. Artword Theatre’s delightful Christmas comedy Scroogissimo returns for a third time to Artword Artbar. Hamilton’s North End meets Charles Dickens in a wacky script by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli, directed by Ronald Weihs.
A sell-out hit in 2013 and 2014, Scroogissimo features Charly as “Ebenezu Scroogie”, a Christmas-hating old Hamiltonian from Racalmuto, Sicily, who finds himself haunted by three ghosts of the Past, Present and Future.
With the original cast! Charly Chiarelli as Scroogie, Pamela Gardner as Christmas Past, Paula Grove as Christmas Present / Carol Singer, Valeri Kay as Mrs. Cratchit / Christmas Future, Jon-Gordon Odegaard as Bob Cratchit, Jay Shand as Nephew Fred and Marley. Musical support for Scroogissimo is provided by Tim Nijenhuis (keyboard), leader of the blues trio Beg to Differ. Design by Judith Sandiford. Cast photo and poster by Adam Carter.
Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat at 2:30 pm. Tickets: Adults $25, Student $15, Child 14 and under $10. Tuesdays $10 at door. Please reserve (905-543-8512)

Scroogissimo 2016, Jon-Gordon Odegaard as Cratchit, Jay Shand as Nephew Fred, Charly Chiarelli as Scroogie

Scroogissimo 2016, Charly Chiarelli as Scroogie, is air-borne to Sicily! Pamela Gardner as Christmas Past

New stage design for 2016! We moved the piano down beside the stage, pulled aside the black curtain, and are projecting images on the upstage wall. And now Pamela Gardner, who is an aerialist, can fly in as Christmas Past, and fly off with Scroogie back to Sicily!

Hamilton Ontario, a winter street, for Scroogissimo show.

Raculmuto, Sicily, Charly Chiarelli’s home town, (and Scroogie’s)

MacBush the Musical returns Nov 1 to 13, 2016

November 1 to 13, 2016. BACK for a 2-week run at Artword Artbar, in time for you-know-which election week!
MacBush, the Musical, by David L. Dawson and directed by Ronald Weihs, is a musical mash-up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George W. Bush administration.
You need to see this show! Here’s why:
#1: “Tired of Trump, Hillary and the crew dispensing ‘Ain’t America Great’ on TV? Then go get a reality check at Artword Artbar, where Artword Theatre is offering hemlock and humour, stirred not shaken, in a bitter witches’ brew. … Sean Emberley stands out as a look-alike for the grinning George Bush. Jon-Gordon Odegaard makes an exotic Osama bin Laden. And Will Gillespie and Allan Merovitz have fun with the roles of Rumsfeld and Cheney.  … Well worth seeing.” (Gary Smith, Hamilton Spectator, May 2016).
#2: “This lively play… threads its laughs with an undeniably sinister undercurrent…  Jamila B.’s vocals are a treat…  she not only has good comedic timing but is eerie when she evokes Lady Macbeth.” (Allison Jones, View Magazine, May 2016)
#3: “Mixing clever, biting political satire…, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates. … Two highlights of the show are Shavini Fernando’s portrayal of an Iraqi woman’s lament, …and Will Gillespie, as an ordinary soldier. Shand’s portrayal of Powell’s conflicts is memorable.” (Ellen Jaffe, Ont Arts Review, May 2016)

Who?
Performed by seven accomplished singer-actors in the Artword Theatre Ensemble:

Jamila Bello as Condi 
Sean Emberley
as George Dubya 
Shavini Fernando as Iraqi woman, and chorus
Will Gillespie as Rummy, witch Saddam and a soldier
Allan Merovitz
as Dickie
Jon-Gordon Odegaard as witch Osama and chorus
Jay Shand
as Colin, witch Ahmadinejad, and chorus

Music direction and performance by Tim Nijenhuis, with percussion by Steve Foster.
Book and lyrics by David Laing Dawson.
Music by Charles W. Humphreys.
Directed by Ronald Weihs.
Design by Judith Sandiford.
Produced by Artword Theatre and Gallery on the Bay.

Ticket Prices? Wed to Sun $25 Call 905-543-8512, email artword@artword.net
Tuesday Special all tickets $10 cash at door
When? November 1 to 13, 2016, Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat. at 2:30 pm
Where? Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street

What is this show about? G. Dubya and his sidekicks Dickie, Rummy, Condi and Coley sing jaunty show tunes while they plan tactics of ‘shock and awe’. Songs sung by a soldier and an Iraqi woman reveal other viewpoints. With guest appearances by ‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘Ahmadinejad’ as witches, who have some chilling prophecies about our now current world crisis.

MacBush the Musical trailer

Learie Mc Nicolls, Parrot+Box for Roots… Sept 25, 2016

Artword Theatre presents a dance double-bill at Artword Artbar, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm.
1. The premiere of a new work, The Parrot of Paradise, is a Caribbean tale told in dance and spoken word, written and performed by Learie Mc Nicolls. It tells a story of a individual chosen to tell a short tale of a particular incident on a particular island. The story draws on Learie’s own experience growing up in the Caribbean, and is partly autobiographical, partly historical. Duration 20 mins.
2. A 30-minute excerpt of our Fringe hit  Once I Lived in the Box, choreographed by Learie Mc Nicolls, performed by dancers Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls. “Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box… ” The piece is a sequence of trios, duets and solos, that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection, vulnerability and trust. The full length version of this stunning work premiered at the Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016, to rave reviews.

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm, $20 (advance reserve 905-543-8512), $25 door, at Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne Street, Hamilton. The evening is part of the 2016 Roots en Route Festival of World Music, Dance, Spoken Word presented by Matapa, in multiple venues in September 2016.

Learie Mc Nicolls (choreographer, dancer) has been a key figure in contemporary dance in Toronto since the 1980s, with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. As a solo dancer, he has been exploring the combination of dance with spoken word, to create a powerful new form of theatrical presentation. Since moving to Hamilton, his dance projects include: at The Pearl Company Resurrection 2014, and at Artword Transformation 2015, Once I Lived in the Box 2016 and an ongoing series Big Dance Little Stage. In 2015 Learie received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Performance.

DANCE: Once I Lived in the Box, Fringe, July 19-23, 2016

Artword Theatre presents Once I Lived in the Box, a dance work by Learie Mc Nicolls, for the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival. Dancer and choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls has created a full-length dance piece about vulnerability and trust.
The piece is danced by Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur, Jamila Bello and Learie Mc Nicolls, in a sequence of trios, duets and solos that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection. Judith Sandiford is producer and lighting designer.
SIX SHOWS: Tues- Fri July 19-22, 2016, at 9:00 pm; Sat July 23 at 6:00 & 9:00 pm. 60 minutes. Tickets $10, or hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/


Once I Lived in the Box: Sharon Harvey, Angela Del Franco, Tanis Macarthur, Learie Mc Nicolls

Fringe 2016 Review: Once I Lived in the Box,
by Amos Crawley
“It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.”

July 20, 2016. Raise the Hammer
www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2988/fringe_2016_review:_once_i_lived_in_the_box

“Once I Lived In The Box is a dire warning. It’s a tired and nearly, nearly defeated voice crying out in the middle of a windy, terrifying night. It is by turns haunting, sensual, humorous, distant and visceral. Like the Otis Redding version of A Change Is Gonna Come that scores a marvelous solo, it’s a show that never once apologizes for the pain of being alive.

Once I Lived in the Box, Jamila Bello, Learie Mc Nicolls

It is a shared experience in that way – it’s us who are being warned: STOP! We hold on to our faked generosity, our small ownerships, our secret hate for dear life as if we ourselves are not part of a continuum-as if we do not all break the same way.

The show begins with the razor edge feeling of a situation that can’t possibly end well. Then quickly we are in the hustle and bustle of a life where life is that which gets swept away-hidden.

The show moves for the most part with the undeniable pulse of heartbreak. We are perhaps doomed and our inner turmoil is a result of the lack of faith we put in one another, of a true generosity of spirit. That’s the price we all gotta pay. Isn’t it a pity?

Once I Lived in the Box, Angela Del Franco

Mc Nicolls and his gifted, dedicated performers unselfishly make the political personal so that at the turn of a phrase or a fade in the music (the evening is accompanied by some of the most exquisite music of the 20th century) we have gone from the world at large to the most intimate trials and tribulations of a love affair.

It may be a warning, but it is not a hopeless warning. There is always joy available. We’re gonna end up in a box anyhow — why live in one too?

It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.

Amos Crawley is an actor, director and acting instructor who lives in East Hamilton with his wife, actor and director Cadence Allen, and their young son.”


Once I Lived in the Box, Sharon Harvey

Once I Lived in the Box Review in View Magazine July 21 2016
by Heather Baer

Visceral, raw strength are words which came to mind while watching Once I Lived in the Box, a full-length dance work passionately and creatively written and performed by awarding-winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Joining him are four beautiful women (Jamila Bello, Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, and Tanis Macarthur) equally talented in their own right and each having a background in various movement forms from hip-hop to yoga and everything in between.

Once I Lived in the Box was inspired by a 10-page poem of the same name written by Mc Nicolls (“…because I have a lot to say”, quips Mc Nicolls when asked at a Q&A session after opening night) and reveals issues of vulnerability and trust as show through a series of solos, duets and quartets interwoven around, in, on and through movable pieces of “the box”.

The passion for and commitment to the piece and to their craft was expressed by the artists in every move from the fluid cadence of limbs to the exact placement of fingers as well as tell-tale glances and nods sometimes working in harmony and other times in opposition. Come and enjoy this unique exposition. The artistry continues for the rest of the weekend at Artword Artbar.


REVIEW of the February 2016 presentation: “Learie Mc Nicolls’ newest creation, Once I Lived in the Box, at Artword Artbar [Feb 3, 4 and 5, 2016], was a powerful, yet intimate, piece of choreography… This piece touched the heart. I hope it will be remounted; it deserves a longer run and a larger audience.” Ellen Jaffe, Ontario Arts Review

 

MacBush the Musical, full text of 3 reviews

#1: “This lively play shows there’s room for comedy despite the tragedy woven into its historical and Shakespearean material.” Allison M. Jones

#2. “Dawson tackles the Bush gang … as Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the boys perform a grand chain of murder, mayhem and musical misadventure.” Gary Smith

#3. “Mixing clever, biting political satire with direct anti-war statements, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates, especially when done in the name of ‘good.'” Ellen Jaffe

#1.  Theatre Review of MacBush the Musical by Allison M. Jones, View Magazine, May 5-11, 2016

Hamilton’s Artword Artbar is a small place with a lot of heart. Its theatre ensemble has taken on the ambitious MacBush the Musical, a “mash up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George ‘Dubya’ Bush administration during 9/11 and the War on Iraq.”

This lively play shows there’s room for comedy despite the tragedy woven into its historical and Shakespearean material. However, it threads its laughs with pathos and an undeniably sinister undercurrent for those who recall the political landscape of pre- and post- 9/11.

Musical director Tim Nijenhuis, along with percussionist Steve Foster, provide terrific live performances prior to and throughout the show. It begins with images featuring Bush and his cronies; this feels overly lengthy. A shorter montage would suffice to set the mood. The images used in other scenes helpfully add context.

‘MacBush’ features George W. Bush (Sean Emberley), Dick Cheney (Allan Merovitz), Donald Rumsfeld (Will Gillespie), Condoleezza Rice (Jamila B.), & Colin Powell (Jeremy Shand), as well as an American soldier (Gillespie), an Iraqi woman (Shavini Fernando Ranasinghe), and three ‘witches’ (Gillespie, Shand and Jon-Gordon Odegaard).

Sean Emberley is a stand out as ‘Bush.’ Offstage he’d never remind me of the former President, but he nails the voice facial expressions, and mannerisms of the man to a remarkable degree.

MacBush and its lyrics were written by novelist and screenwriter David Laing Dawson. Dawson was sitting a few seats away from me during the performance. He has said, “I think of the George W. Bush years as a tragedy, though the tragedy befell ordinary people and not the protagonist..”

Indeed, MacBush is most successful when it slows the pace and focuses on the casualties created by the Bush administration, including those among the Iraqi people, and of soldiers left with psychic and physical wounds. The emotional scenes with a shell-shocked American soldier (Gillespie) and an Iraqi woman (Fernando Ranasinghe) mourning her family are vulnerable and moving.

In the program, Director Ron Weihs says that the three witches of MacBush, “do not represent real historical figures… They are… gross caricatures,” but elsewhere, the trio are identified as ‘Osama,’ ‘Saddam’ and ‘Ahmadinejad.’ While Jon-Gordon Odegaard’s ‘Osama’ is little too manic, he is best at physically representing his character and I can’t fault his enthusiasm. As for ‘Saddam,’ we know it’s him mainly because of the beret Gillespie is wearing. And ‘Ahmadinejad’ Jeremy Shand lends a great deal of humanity to his ‘Colin Powell’; I’m sure he could give his witch something a bit more recognizable. The three provided cartoonish comic relief and elicited some chuckles from the audience.

I was pleased to see local singer Jamila B. (Rice) in this production. Her vocals are a treat. Unsurprisingly, she has great stage presence. Additionally, she not only has good comedic timing but is eerie in the closing moments when she evokes Lady Macbeth’s Out, damned spot!’ speech, in recognition of ‘Rice’s’ complicity.

As I watched, I returned again and again to the thought that they needed more space for what they wanted to do. Projection, live music, cast, props, layers of action, and audience: that’s a lot to accommodate, and I wondered what the production would look like if they could just spread out.

The seating area, already small, is farther constrained to give the cast space to maneuver. The cast uses the venue creatively, snaking its way through the room and around the audience at the beginning and end. However, Learie McNicolls’ choreography feels overcome by the lack of space. It’s amazing that the cast of seven performers, two musicians, and a projectionist were able to avoid bumping into one another, so McNicolls, director Ron Weihs, and designer Judith Sandiford deserve kudos for that. However, the tight quarters mean too much of the potential for grace and purpose in the choreography is lost; as McNicolls’ signature style is one of gorgeous and evocative movement, it’s a shame.

The Artbar has been a welcoming place in the Hamilton arts scene since 2009, and I love its vibe. MacBush is a fascinating premise for a play, let alone a musical. It’s a testament to. both that MacBush was sold out on the first two nights of its run, a Tuesday and Wednesday evening. As seating is limited, reserving tickets is advised.


#2. MacBush review by Gary Smith: Macbeth, Bush mashup has comic intentions with bite, The Hamilton Spectator, Tuesday May 3, 2016

Need some consciousness raising? Tired of Trump, Hillary and the crew dispensing “Ain’t America Great” on TV? Then go get a reality check at Artword Artbar, where Artword Theatre is offering hemlock and humour, stirred not shaken, in a bitter witches’ brew. That brew borrowed from Shakespeare makes George W. Bush a kind of Macbeth in a modern suit.

Playwright David Laing Dawson isn’t afraid of upsetting theatrical traditions and conventions. He’s got the balls to connect Shakespeare’s murderous Thane with the president who gave Florida a bad name.

The Macbeth connection isn’t original, of course. Shakespeare’s play was allied with an earlier president in Barbara Garson’s 1967 feminist play MacBird, which did something similar, much to Lyndon B. Johnson’s jowly rage.

Here, Dawson tackles the Bush gang with pouty Condi Rice (an attractive Jamila B.) leading the down-home hoedown as Cheney, Rumsfeld and the rest of the boys perform a grand chain of murder, mayhem and musical misadventure.

Now, it takes nerve to create a musical with such acrid, yet comic intentions. Fortunately Dawson has plenty of that. He’s aided and abetted in his attack by director Ronald Weihs and designer Judith Sandiford, folks who know how to rock such material, even if it does sometimes serve up trite rhyming couplets for lyrics and music by New Zealand composer Charles W. Humphreys that sounds like lounge songs fed through a synthesizer.

No matter, this stage musical has some disturbing truth to offer, even if we do see things from an almost exclusively anti-American point of view.

We never, for instance, see the Twin Towers coming down. And the Bush team always looks, well, bush league without real power or intellect.

British playwright David Hare tackled this whole subject superbly in “Stuff Happens,” but then he didn’t try to set Colin Powell’s befuddlement, Condi’s cool manipulation and Rumsfeld and Cheney’s Martin and Lewis routine to music.

And no, I don’t think you’re likely to see this musical performed on American soil. Its citizens don’t like to be thought of as murdering aggressors.

Dawson’s musical is well worth seeing, though obviously some things need a second look. The staging cries out for a faster pace. Tiny pauses between scenes and while we’re waiting for Tim Nijenhuis’s music to start reduce momentum. MacBush would also benefit from a 90-minute format, no intermission to break things up, even given those hard Artbar chairs.

The first act is the stronger of the two, with latter moments of the show needing tighter, tougher writing.

Sean Emberley stands out as a look-alike for the grinning George Bush. Jon-Gordon Odegaard makes an exotic Osama bin Laden. And Will Gillespie and Allan Merovitz have fun with the roles of Rumsfeld and Cheney. Shavini Fernando Ramasingh has some nice moments as an Iraqi Woman caught in the crossfire and Jeremy Shand is a stolid Colin Powell. Vocally things are sometimes rough, and Learie McNicolls’ choreography fights against Humphrey’s music.

There are some interesting songs. “Glory in a Uniform” and “Let’s Go To War” are emotional highs.

The big thing is, “MacBush The Musical” is a brave exploration of the kind of creative theatre that’s possible in this city. We need to support this kind of project, or forever be forced to watch “The Sound of Music” and “Annie.”

Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years.


#3. MacBush: the Musical – Toil, Trouble, Shock & Awe,
Review by Ellen S. Jaffe for Ontario Arts Review

Shakespeare may be dead, but his plays are alive, well, and adaptable to modern times. Hamilton author, David Laing Dawson, demonstrates this in his powerful MacBush: the Musical, directed by Ron Weihs.  The play transposes the story of MacBeth to Washington D.C. and Iraq. Mixing clever, biting political satire with direct anti-war statements, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates, especially when done in the name of “good.”
Judith Sandiford’s effective design places the actors in front of projected photographs, from Bush and his cronies, to scenes of war and human devastation, to the aftermath of returning veterans.
Dawson comments, “I think of the George W. Bush years as a tragedy, though the tragedy befell ordinary people, not the protagonist.”  He wrote the script and lyrics and the music was composed by Charles W. Humphreys.  In this production, Tim Nijenhuis, musical director, performs brilliantly on the piano and keyboard, ably assisted by Steve Foster, on percussion. The music supports the action and provides bridges between scenes.  Learie McNicolls designed the choreography and movement – a complicated feat on a small stage.
The play opens with the three “witches” – portrayed by Will Gillespie, Jon-Gordon Odegaard, and Jeremy Shand/”Mr. J”– swirling onstage like flying dervishes in bright robes. Weihs notes, “In our play, the witches do not represent real historical figures. They are projections of the fantasies of George and his Republican cronies.”  As the witches predict, George Dubya – manipulated by Dickie (Dick Cheney), played with menacing intensity by Allan Merovitz – moves from golf course to Oval Office.  Sean Emberley plays George with a combination of privilege, boyishness, zeal, and terrifying ignorance.
Supported by Rumsfeld (also played by Gillespie), and Condoleezza Rice, beautifully acted and sung by Jamila B., George chooses “WAR” as the simplistic, patriotic solution to 9/11 and world complexity.  Condi’s wonderful song, “What Do I Think?” shows how she has been trained to study and please, but doesn’t know her own mind.  In the end, she supports Bush, but Colin Powell (also played by Shand) is reluctant to do so. He gives in, but finally resigns, after he has realized his mistakes. Shand’s portrayal of Powell’s conflicts is memorable. There is also a powerful juxtaposition of the chorus singing, “War is stupid”, as a protest against Bush and his cronies, as they carry weapons and praise warfare.
For this reviewer, an anti-war activist since Vietnam years, two highlights of the show are Shavini Fernando Ranasinghe’s portrayal of an Iraqi woman lamenting, “Once I had a family…I had a daughter, I had a son,” and Gillespie, as an ordinary soldier, chanting, “Help me un-see what I have seen, help me undo what I have done, help me un-live what I have lived.”
Ranasinghe, a talented young performer, also takes part in the chorus, as do Shand and Odegaard.  The play moves swiftly; the pace slows at the start of the second act but gains momentum in the banquet scene where George sees a ghost. The show ends with a reminder of Shakespeare’s words: “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow/Creeps in this petty pace from day to day…” Condi looks at her hands, as Lady MacBeth does, as she speaks the lines, “Out, damned spot! …. Will these hands never be clean?”  Good question.

MacBush; the Musical runs at Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St, Hamilton, through May 8.