Director Arthur Webb has a knack of making bold cuts in the Bard’s cloth and stitching the finished garment back together with panache and a modern style of direction. Shakespeare might be quite jealous that characters can talk over each other and ingeniously take over each other’s lines mid sentence.
The set is a simple blood-smattered canvass stretched across the width of the stage and the props kept small and handheld. A cast of six play sixteen characters between them. Accompanied by sound effects and a some out of sight drumming, the actors appear around the corner with their new costumes colour coded with the tartan of the clan they’re now playing. Kilts have been replaced with overcoats. The plastic binoculars appear anachronistic, though the technology was patented contemporaneously with the writing of Macbeth.
The three witches (no gender barriers in this show!) almost steal the show with their discordant chanting and choreographed movement.
recent light-hearted tour of Shakespeare’s complete works.
“This dead butcher and his fiendlike queen”
It’s a fast paced tour of the play, with none of the bloody gore of Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard’s sordid big screen version. Tension rises as the unremitting body count increases (always out of sight) and the portfolio of characters shrinks to the final handful of lucky souls who make it through to the far end alive.
Some tickets are still available for the last few days of Macbeth’s run in the Grand Opera House, which finishes on Saturday 22 October.