For a brief week, the Seattle International Film Festival was able to bring Manchester International Festival’s production of Macbeth to the Uptown Theater in Seattle. As a part of a series called National Theater Live (which includes Othello with Adrian Lester and Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller), this production stars the illustrious Kenneth Branagh as the titular Scottish King. I was lucky enough to get tickets to see this thunderous play.
Co-directed by Branagh and Rob Ashford, the production was spectral, but appropriately stark. A lot of the eerie desolation came from the fact that it takes place in a deconsecrated Manchester church. The floors of the church were ripped out, so the stage was a pit of austere earth across which the witches skulked and the Scottish thanes clashed bloodily. Rain was poured unsparingly onto the actors. The dim lighting was the perfect harshness for this sinister play.
On Sunday, November 3, PBS turned forty-four years old. Wow. That’s a lot of numbers. I’d have to count with this vintage piece from Sesame Street a bunch of times to count THAT high!
PBS’s mission, from the beginning, has been to “inform and inspire the diversity reflected in the American audience.” Astonishingly, even with the plethora of choices in broadcasting today, 90% of households watch PBS annually.
There are many reasons to continue to love and support your local PBS station. Its news programming has “been named the most trustworthy institution among nationally known organizations, for ten consecutive years.”
How about Masterpiece Theater, which just celebrated its fortieth birthday and is enjoying wild success with its hit show Downton Abbey? Here’s a preview of Season 4, which premieres on December 17, 2013…