TRURO, N.S. — Linda Finnie isn’t easing her way into acting with a small role. Although she hasn’t been in a play since she was a young child, speaking one line, she’s taken on the role of Lady Macbeth for this year’s production of Shakespeare in the Park.
“I wanted to do a play before, but never had the courage,” she said. “I’m still afraid I’ll get stage fright.”
Lenore Zann, who is directing, called Finnie early in the year and asked her if she’d like to be in the show.
“I hated Shakespeare when I was in school but she said she thought I’d be the perfect Lady Macbeth and asked me to try out. I spent the weekend thinking about it and, at the last minute, said I would come down.”
Zann felt Finnie, who is from Scotland, had the right accent, look and attitude for the role.
“When I looked at the lines, I thought I would never be able to remember them, but I have,” said Finnie. “The main difficulty was knowing how to act the lines, because with a lot of it I had no idea what they were talking about and I had to look things up.
“I was surprised to find the shorter lines harder; the longer ones just flow.
“really like the character of Lady Macbeth, and the fact that there are lots of twists and turns in this.”
Carl Goodwin will be playing Macbeth, and although he’s taken part in other Shakespeare in the Park performances, this is his biggest role.
Some roles have been changed a little. The doctor has become a midwife, played by Joanna Burris. A servant and messengers have been melded into one servant/spy, played by Justin Ripley McFarlane.
There are several witches in the show, and Gwenn Marie Firth is playing Hecate, the head witch.
“I’m usually typecast as a goody-two-shoes,” she said. “I really like this because it’s different. It’s fun to play a bad character.”
Members of the Gallus Gael reenactment group will take part in battle scenes, and harpist and singer Caedda Enright will provide music between scenes.
Zann’s first experience in directing was with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in Victoria Park six years ago. About 800 people showed up to see the show.
“It was a huge challenge for me to take on a Shakespearean play rather than an ordinary, modern play,” she said. “I had never even performed in a Shakespearean play.”
Zann decided a Shakespearean production should be an annual event, and feels Macbeth is especially suitable for this year’s performance.
“I think people can relate to tyrants who think they can do whatever they want and others should do their bidding, and if things don’t happen their way they have a tantrum,” she said.
Although the town and county have provided funding for the show some years in the past, those involved are trying to raise funds to stage Macbeth, and some of the costumes have been borrowed from Neptune Theatre. Any business or individual interested in helping can donate to the Truro Theatre Society, which is a non-profit organization, and can be contacted by calling Zann’s MLA office at 902-897-ZANN (9266).
Macbeth will be staged in Victoria Park July 24-26. People are asked to arrive by 6:15 p.m. for a start time at 6:30 p.m.