May 16, 2024

Woods of Birnam Company: Macbeth in concert (GE)

Macbeth in concert

By William Shakespeare

Translator: Dorothea Tieck and Heiner Müller


Company name: Woods of Birnam Company


Company country: Germany


Director: Christian Friedel




Christian Friedel – Actor and Vocalist / Macbeth

Uwe Pasora – Bass guitar

Philipp Makolies – Guitar

Onno Dreier – Keys

Christian Grochau – Drums


The creative team:


Music: Woods of Birnam

Scenography: Hannah Rolland & Bernd Mahnert 

Video: Clemens Walter, Jonas Dahl

Costumes: Ellen Hofmann

Lights: Robert Kröber, Johannes Zink

Sound: Torsten Staub

Making of: Benedikt Kauff

Merchandise: Birgit Bräuer

Subtitles: Anne Hirth 

Wardrobe: Ulrike Huste

Production-Management: Mario Cetti, Helen Boos


Show synopsis:


Considered William Shakespeare's darkest play, Macbeth has been interpreted and performed countless times around the world. In succinct form, this text also proves to be the most accessible. The German band WOODS OF BIRNAM, led by actor and musician Christian Friedel, uses this text to present a form of spectacular expression in which theater and concert merge, and the drama of Macbeth becomes its own nightmare. As the first production of the newly founded artistic collective WOODS OF BIRNAM COMPANY, this show is supported by elaborate video design, refined by intensive sound design and an almost architectural light show. The power-hungry Scotsman, consumed by his own guilt, has never been seen quite like this before. Everything happens in his mind, but the audience can look inside and experience with intensity how man can influence his own destiny, and how some decisions can take a dark turn.


Company description:


 "Woods of Birnam Company" is an interdisciplinary artistic collective from Dresden, Germany - an alliance of the band WOODS OF BIRNAM and its long-term collaborators.


Director biography:


Christian Friedel studied at the O+o Falckenberg school in Munich and was then employed at the Bavarian Staatsschauspiel. Between 2006 and 2009, he was a cast member at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden. Among other plays, he was cast in the lead role in Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship by Goethe (dir. Friederike Heller), Ibsen's Peer Gynt (dir. Nuran David Calis) and Arturo Ui's Ascension Can Be Stopped by Brecht (dir. Tilmann Köhlers). He was invited to the Berliner Theatertreffen in the title role in Schiller's Don Carlos (dir. Roger Vontobel). He has performed the role of Hamlet to sold-out audiences since 2012 with performances at the Shakespeare Festival at the historic Kronborg Castle in Helsingør. Since 2016, Friedel continues to act in plays at the Staatsschauspiel Dresden and the Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf, such as Robert Wilson's adaptation of ETA Hoffman's The Sandman and Dorian based on elements from Oscar Wilde. Outside of acting, Friedel works as a musician with his band, Woods of Birnam, and as a director. He staged the Shakespeare themed show Looking for William in 2016 at the Dresdner Schauspielhaus. In the 2020/2021 season, he created Looking for Macbeth, a concert-style performance and showcase for the full production of Macbeth to be staged from autumn 2022. It has been playing to closed houses ever since. Friedel also directed several plays at the Deutsche Theater Göttingen. He staged Sophocles' Antigone in 2017 and Franz Schubert's Schwanengesang in 2018. Christian Friedel regularly performs in front of the camera. He starred in Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon. He currently stars in the highly acclaimed German television series Babylon Berlin as police photographer Gräf.


Director nominations and/or awards:


In 2010, Friedel was awarded the Erich Pronto Award of the Förderverein Staatsschauspiel Dresden eV For his leading role in Hirschbiegel's ELSER, he received the Metropolis Award and was nominated for the German and European Film Awards as Best Actor. Jonathan Glazier's Zone of Interest, a sober drama about the behavior of a Nazi commander during the Holocaust, in which Friedel starred opposite Sandra Hüller, won the Grand Prix at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Show duration: 1h 40 minutes (without break)


Special mentions show: Fog and strobe lights – warning for the epileptic audience.