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Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company

Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company

David Greig's Dusinane

Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company
Aldo Billingslea and Lisa Anne Porter

MTC's opens their 2022-23 season with a wonderfully directed all-American production of Scottish playwright David Greig's Dunsinane, a fanciful sequel to Shakespeare's Macbeth. Co-directors Jasson Minadakis (MTC Artistic Director) and Rob Lutfy (Associate Artistic Director at Cygnet Theatre) have created a visually stunning, action-packed re-creation of 12th century Scotland that is eerily prescient to our modern political landscape.

With its themes of occupation, forced power transfers, feudalism, and the so-called attempts to create peace, Greig's combination of the drama of war is balanced with humor at our human foibles. Here, the English army and its leader Siward (Aldo Billingslea) have stormed into Scotland, killed Macbeth, and installed Malcolm (Josh Odsess-Rubin) to the throne. It's a tenuous transition as Gruach (Macbeth's wife played by Lisa Anne Porter) is still Queen with a son as heir.

Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company
Josh Odsess-Rubin

Billingslea's Siward is a just man with honorable intention of bringing peace to the feudal country he cannot understand, but his means are just as ruthless as his opponents. Brings to mind numerous modern failures at installing a leader in foreign countries with no clear understanding of local culture. King Malcolm has only total disdain for his subjects and believes peace is not a natural state. Gruach is dead set on running the English out and continuing aggression till the end of time.

Brooke Jennings' costumes are top notch in line with quick multiple character changes by the cast. Josh Odsess-Rubin, in addition to his maleficent Malcolm add some nifty fight choreography. A highlight of the production is Mike Post's extraordinary lighting and projection design. With minimal overhead and side spots he achieves an otherworldly, misty yet concentrated atmosphere as though you're peering through time into a long-forgotten past.

Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company
Front: Daniel Duque-Estrada; Back: Lisa Anne Porter, Molly Lyons

Students from Tamalpais High School flesh out the ensemble and get to strut their remarkable skills, including an outstanding performance by Jack Hochschild as a naïve boy soldier experiencing war for the first time. Watch for this guy to be starring in productions soon. Daniel Duque-Estrada has a juicy, scene-stealing role as Egham, Siward's aide, and Michael Ray Wisley plays ably performs as the murderous McDuff and other roles.

Dunsinane runs through October 16th, 2022. Single tickets ($25-$65) can be purchased online at or by calling 415-388-5208.

Review: DUNSINANE at Marin Theatre Company
Jack Hochschild and Lisa Anne Porter

Photo credit: Kevin Berne

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