Piping things up for 'Macbeth'

Arts Correspondent

THE Port Elizabeth Shakespearean Festival's 2014 production of Macbeth promises to stay true to the Scottish setting of the play thanks to spot-on accents, tartans and even a pair of Scottish pipers.

William Shakespeare's classic tale of ambition, murder and intrigue will be staged at the Little Theatre in Port Elizabeth from February 25 to March.

It will be directed by the award-winning Lesley Barnard.

It was fortuitous that Patrick Scott, an advocate by day, had appeared on the Greensward at Mannville Open Air Theatre in many a Shakespearean production.

Scott was a particularly appropriate choice for this particular production of Macbeth since both he and his wife, Beverley, have become practically synonymous with bagpipes in recent years.

"We have been piping for three years now. It takes at least a year to get from the practice chanter on to the pipes," Scott said.

"The truth is we are rather impulsive. We saw the pipers at Last Night of the Proms three years ago and decided there and then to learn the pipes.

"And we told some friends about our decision so then we could not back out anyway.

"But we are really enjoying everything about playing the pipes in the Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band."

Bev has been a music teacher for nearly 35 years and currently still teaches at the Montessori school.

"I suspect that for Patrick it was a case of 'If you can't beat her, join her'," Bev quipped.

"Obviously, with his Scottish heritage, this instrument was ideal.

" I play the piano, the marimba, the guitar and the steel pans.

"He has always supported my musical ventures and so it must have eventually inspired him to start learning an instrument himself."

She said she and Patrick thought it would be ""quite a challenge when Lesley approached us to be part of the cast of Macbeth".

"We also have our own marimba duo and enjoy playing for small events from time to time."

Not only does this couple take on a theatrical challenge, but for the past three years they have taken on another challenge – by creating "Walking for Paws n Claws" for the Animal Anti-Cruelty League.

The two have covered 740km over the last three years, with their 2013 walk in the Yorkshire Dales yielding many an adventure. Through these walks they have managed to sponsor four full spayathons for the league at an average cost of R15000, reaching approximately 210 animals as a result. This year they will tackle the Cotswolds in Britain in June and July.

The Algoa Caledonian Pipe Band has taken a gala for Macbeth and this will be held on February 24, with tickets at R60 available on 082-654-1338.

Tickets for the rest of the run are at Computicket, while school block bookings may be arranged with Helen Wilkins on (041) 581-1738 or helebel@telkomsa.net