Venue Details

Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre
1650 N. Halsted St. Chicago, IL 60614
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4.6 / 5 Rated by 10 members
Review from Wonderland
19 events 2 reviews

Hilarious take on Macbeth with the main ingredient of wonderful, physical humor. A refreshing experience!

reviewed Jun 28 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from Amy H.
16 events 2 reviews

My friend and I had no idea it was opening night! It was great to have a chance to meet the director and actors at a reception following the performance. I am definitely going to see this play again!

reviewed Jun 16 2007 report as inappropriate
Review from James M.
8 events 1 review

One of the two best shows I've ever seen in Chicago.

reviewed Jul 21 2007 report as inappropriate
More Information

Quotes & Highlights

“Jaw dropping! Hilarious!” —Chicago Tribune


500 Clown Theatre, founded in 2000, presents “500 Clown MacBeth”  - a wildly physical, comical and powerful re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth – in repertory for a limited engagement in summer 2007 (with a rotating schedule) as a Steppenwolf Visiting Company Initiative.

The physical theatre artists of 500 Clown deliver their distinctive brand of deconstructed texts (based on Shelley), through physical action and clowning improvisation inspired by the immediate energy of each audience. Last seen in Chicago in 2004, this updated version includes production revisions from three years of performing these pieces on tour, presenting a reinvigorating “500 Clown Macbeth” with more dynamic and nuanced play.

“500 Clown Macbeth” smashes the original story to pieces, then tears through the rubble to forge a wild, unpredictable, devastating and hilarious deconstruction of Shakespeare’s classic. Three clowns descend upon a stage to perform the Scottish play. Infected by ambition, they compete for the title role and, in the process, they destroy the text, the set and eventually each other. Ripping through the fourth wall, the clowns generate a charged environment in which the audience is left to wonder what was planned and what was created for the first time. Featuring no red noses, big shoes nor tiny cars, 500 Clown conspires with the audience to redefine “clown” and “Macbeth” as they propel this version to its exhilarating conclusion.

Inspired by vaudevillians honing their acts on the road, 500 Clown continues tweaking each production after each performance. 500 Clown has toured in Birmingham, England; Michigan (Acorn Theatre); Maryland (Creative Alliance and Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center); Pennsylvania (Franklin & Marshall College); and goes to New York City in winter 2007.

Production runs about 75 minutes with no intermission and is suitable for ages 10 and up. (Gun fired in MacBeth. Mature themes as in source materials). Post show discussion follows each Thursday & Sunday show with paid ticket.

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