Nothing is more sacred to true Shakespearian actors than “The Scottish Play,” which demands a deep reverence to always be exhibited both onstage and off during a performance. Except the reverence from ennui-engulfed Tom Riley is a bit lacking, to say the least. He’s in love with the beautiful Liz Beth, wife of pompous ham Alex Pankhurst. Liz and Alex are playing—respectively—Lady Macbeth and Macbeth in the small stage production they’re preparing for their local New England theatre. And Liz loves Tom back.
Also: Tom wants to play Macbeth. Their underfoot co-stars make it almost impossible to be alone, until Tom decides that the Scottish Curse so oft mentioned by actors is just baloney. That’s when the witches, ghosts and murder-mayhem really get started and Tom, Liz Beth and everyone else, find themselves trapped in a stage play nightmare, albeit a hilarious one.
Ghost Light is a dark comedy with provocative and near-perfect production design and special effects. Director Stimpson executes what must be one of the most impressive stage versions of Macbeth ever portrayed on or off-camera, while his cast of characters undergo their own private Shakespearean problems, culminating in a mesh of the fantastic and tragic with just enough comedy to keep the audience from being scared away from productions of Macbeth for the rest of their lives.