The Barking Fish Theatre Project has taken the three witches from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and set them on a polluted seaside, next to a beached whale.
W3 begins with puppet birds circling above a giant, paper-mâché beached whale, while the sounds of rain and thunder are created live on stage. The time and location are unknown. Both are irrelevant.
A man in a black suit explains that he has big plans. He has created a new technology that will make the oceans drinkable by removing the salt from the water. Like the character Macbeth, the man in the black suit has aspirations of riches and glory and doesn’t care about the consequences of his actions. He, too, seeks the wisdom and guidance of the three witches.
The witches are, indeed, mysterious. They speak in poetry and have a strange fixation with garbage. They are covered in the filth of the sea. One witch is obsessed with finding and collecting old, thrown-away shoes. Another is hoarding plastic bottles. While another has a tank of oxygen strapped to her back. Perhaps these witches are symbols of land, sea, and air. They are the daughters of Mother Earth.
by Jamie Hamilton
645 New York Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
This isn’t a conventional play. W3 is otherworldly. And its bizarreness is exactly what makes it so fun. For example,the witches have their own cauldron scene, reminiscent of Macbeth’s “Double, double toil and trouble.” But instead of “fillet of a fenny snake,” these witches throw in a McDonald’s Fillet of Fish. Did I say ‘cauldron? Here, it’s a garbage can.
And just when you think W3 can’t get any kookier, that giant, paper-mâché beached whale starts to sing, “My Bonny lies over the ocean.”
And isn’t that why we love Fringe so much?