Working at the Dukes Theatre in Lancaster with the Young Actors group, award winning director Liz Stevenson was called in to direct Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Liz took a different approach on this piece, with a largely female cast, many of the women played the male roles. She drew inspiration from the infamous witch trials that took place in and around Lancaster in the 17th century. With this in mind Liz wanted to create a darker (even though Macbeth is already dark!) and more modern  approach to this play. I was instantly inspired by this and drew influence from artists such as Ben Frost, Taylor Deupree, Tim Hecker, Richard Skelton and Colleen. I created and devised a lot of material in rehearsals along with movement director Kieran Sheehan where he created abstract movement for the more dramatic scenes in the play.

Here are some examples from the show

This piece was created for the witches you see in the image. The inspiration for this track was Colleen – Holding Horses. It created the perfect concoction of playfulness, darkness and modernity.

This was the final piece of the play where Macbeth is killed and a speech is made by Malcolm. There was then a final movement sequence where the witches returned to the earth (the play started with the witches waking up and coming out of the earth).

This is one of the apparitions. There were lots of other sound cues going on at this point, whipping around the space and coming from lots of different speakers, it was a very cool sequence that you can’t really showcase in this way!


Project details

Sound Designer and Composer

Richard Smithson


Liz Stevenson

Project date

31 December 2017

Project location

Lancaster, Lancashire.

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