The fourth in my series of LEA Arts Festival 'peeks' is Cries & Whispers by the very creative Nino Vichan. This is really two installations in one. It contains dramatic representations of scenes from two of Shakespeare's plays, Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice. The textures and visuals are amazing - the moving forest is particularly spooky.
To assist viewers, note cards are dotted throughout the build (click the books) and quotes from the play pop up on your chat screen from time to time. For those who haven't had the opportunity to read or see these Shakespeare plays before, I've provided brief overviews of the plots below. They are very cool stories!
Macbeth - the plot
Macbeth is driven to murder the King of Scotland so that he can take up the throne himself. He immediately assigns the blame to someone else, leaving himself free of suspicion. Not only does he refuse to come clean, but he does everything in his power to make sure that his secret doesn’t leak out - including murdering others. His wife, Lady Macbeth, is an accessory and an accomplice to the King's murder. In fact it was she who came up with the devious plan in the first place...
Macbeth - the three witches
Three witches (also known as the weird sisters) make several prophesies that spur Macbeth to undertake his murderous acts.
The prophecies included him becoming Thane of Cowdor and eventually the King of Scotland.
Macbeth - the bloody hands
No artistic work that explores the story of Macbeth could ignore Lady Macbeth's horrific hallucinations - blood on her hands.
These symbolise her guilt, the onset of her insanity and are the reason for her ultimate suicide.
The Merchant of Venice - the plot
Bassanio learns of a beautiful woman called Portia who is bound by her father's Will. She must marry the suitor who chooses correctly from three caskets that are made of different metals. Bassanio asks his friend Antonio (the Merchant of Venice) for a loan so that he can become one of Portia's suitors. Antonio does not have the ready cash so he suggests Bassanio takes out a loan. Antonio promises he will pay the loan back on Bassanio's behalf as soon as he can.
Meanwhile, Jessica the beloved daughter of Shylock (a greedy Jewish money-lender) has eloped with a virulent anti-Semitic. Shylock hates Antonio because, amongst other things, Antonio is also anti-semitic. So when asked for the loan Shylock adds a frightening condition. If Antonio cannot pay the debt back within 3 months Shylock will be allowed to (literally) take a pound of Antonio's flesh. Antonio fails to pay on time but Portia, disguised as a male lawyer, defends him from Shylock's legal suit. Shylock ends up renouncing his faith and his fortune.
The Merchant of Venice
Portia is bound by her father's Will to marry the suitor who chooses correctly from three caskets made of different metals - one of gold, one of silver and one of lead.