Even for those well-versed in Shakespeare, the name Hecate is likely to draw a blank. The goddess of witchcraft, her fleeting appearance in Macbeth– she has a single soliloquy, in which she reprimands the three weird sisters – is traditionally omitted in performance. But it was precisely the character’s scant, mysterious presence in the text that proved intriguing for actor, writer and director Kylie Bracknell, who has written and will direct an adaptation of Macbethwith Hecate at its centre. Performed entirely in Noongar language, Hecateis a joint presentation between Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare and receives its premiere at the Perth Festival in February.
Kylie Bracknell and the cast of Hecate. Photo © Dana Weeks
The idea for a Noongar production of Macbethwas first put forward by Kyle J Morrison, former Artistic Director of Yirra Yaakin. It was in workshopping the idea with Morrison, Bell Shakespeare AD Peter Evans and playwright and actor Kate Mulvany (who has served as dramaturg for Hecate) that Bracknell stumbled across the queen of the witches.
“We were sitting around a table and speaking about the play and characters,” she explains. “We got to...