Ionesco's Macbett is not a simple parodic, inside out reversal of Shakespeare's masterpiece, but an x-ray as well as a revelation of the type of brutalized public life that has become close to being absurd. The play presents, through relentless murder, public life that is animated and pushed into the realm of chaos by constantly stimulated hostility. At the same time, Ionesco's Macbett talks about the absurdity of conspiracies. He addresses today's spectator with surprising acuity.
Shakespeare's Macbeth is a monster, while also being a puppet at the same time, of course, and Lady Macbeth is also a monster herself. My Macbett is not a monster. He's just as cowardly, vile and power-hungry as Duncan, Banco, Glamiss or Candor. He's an ordinary man. – says Ionesco about his caustic play that displays the intellectual and moral hollowness of man. It draws our attention to the fact that the political realm, ever since the Cold War years, is invaded by dozens of petty characters, devoid of ideas, who cling to power with bloody nails and who see no further than the obtuse logic of defeating and destroying their political opponent. The chance that arose in the 1930s – that clowns permeated by their obsession with power, and who engage in politics under the spell of bloodbaths to be brought to power through free elections – is not a thing of the past, but an ever-present temptation that we better face rather than continue to repeat its horrors, permeated by the illusion of perceiving ourselves as being enlightened.
Silviu Purcărete (1950) is a theatre, opera, and film director. He began his artistic career in Bucharest in 1974 and soon earned himself a reputation for his exceptional creations. In 1986, he staged a performance after Campiello by Goldoni and won the National Prize for Theatre. Between 1989−1996 he worked for the National Theatre of Craiova, where he developed numerous productions that were appreciated on national and international scale.
In 1992, he became the Artistic Director of the Bulandra Theatre in Bucharest. In 1996, he became the Director of Centre Dramatique National at the Théâtre de l’Union in Limoges, France, where he staged Orestia, Three Sisters, and Don Juan, and founded a school for young actors. In 2012, he founded his own theatre company. In 2009, the show Faust, produced by the Radu Stanca National Theatre in Sibiu, became the highlight of the Edinburgh International Festival, where Ofelia Popii was distinguished with the Herald Angel Award. In 2012, Silviu Purcărete debuted as film director with Somewhere in Palilula.
His most memorable stagings include: The Dwarf in the Summer Garden by D. R. Popescu, King Ubu with Scenes from Macbeth after Alfred Jarry and W. Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus by W. Shakespeare, Phaedra after Seneca and Euripides, The Danaids and Orestia by Aeschylus, The Twelfth Night by W. Shakespeare (National Theatre of Craiova), Faust, Gulliver’s Travels, Carnival Stuff (Radu Stanca National Theatre). Abroad, he staged plays such as: La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini (Essen), Parsifal by Richard Wagner (Scottish Opera), Roberto Devereux by Gaetano Donizetti (Wiener Staatsoper), Castor et Polux by Jean-Philippe Rameau (Bonn Opera).