‘Macbeth: Things Bad Begun’ at New York Distilling Company

Bard bar: Actors perform cocktail-fueled ‘Macbeth’ inside distillery

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Pour spirits in thine ear — and thine mouth!

A crafty theater company is staging a boozy production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” inside Williamsburg’s New York Distilling Company from Dec. 7 to 13, where audience members will watch the Scottish play while sipping actual Scotch — or at least rye whiskey — a pairing the director says goes together as perfectly as eye of newt and toe of frog.

“A lot of the poetry of this play works well with the extended metaphor of distilling and of the spirits — in the double entendre of ‘spirits,’ ” said “Macbeth: Things Bad Begun” director Jamie Watkins of performance collective Masterfool.

The evening begins with a hot toddy and ends with an open-bar after-party serving “Macbeth”-themed cocktails — titles include the Sainted King and the Hurly Burly — creating a seamless booze-infused experience that is a one-of-a-kind feast for the eyes, ears, and liver, said an organizer.

“From the moment that they walk in until they walk out at the end of the experience, they’ve really been somewhere and done something they’ve never done before,” said Miriam Thom of event company Fox Wolf, which produced an acclaimed version of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with Masterfool inside the Richardson Street firewater factory earlier this year.

The distillery itself plays a big role in the show, Watkins said — the players perform all over the cavernous space, which is filled with oak barrels, copper stills, and functioning industrial machinery that take the audience on a journey back to old Scotland, with a little old New York in the mix.

“The space has a lot of whiskey barrels, which are used in the staging of the show,” he said. “We are making full use of the distillery space as a playing area.”

And the thespian group is thrilled to be able to show off the neighborhood hooch workshop and its wares to a wider audience in return, Thom said.

“Being able to bring in partners, support the community, and just be a big part of Williamsburg in that way, that felt really important to us,” she said.

“Macbeth: Things Bad Begun” at New York Distilling Company [79 Richardson St. between Lorimer and Leonard streets in Williamsburg, (718) 412–0874,]. Dec. 7–13 at 7 pm. $40 ($35 in advance).

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

TOM from Brooklyn says:
Sounds akin to "P*issed-Up Shakespeare at last summer's Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Five professional actors doing the play seriously with one clearly drunk. Strict rules though. If she wavered she had to immediately down a pint and continue the play. Result: wet-your-pants comedy.
Dec. 2, 2015, 5:23 pm

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