Filed under: Arts, life, stories, theatre | Tags: Allison McKenzie, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Grand Opera, Edinburgh Theatre, Jimmy Chisholm, Joyce Macmillan, Liam Brennan, Lucy Pitman-Wallace, macbeth, Mark Thomson, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company, reertory theatre, Rep, Roylal Lyceum Theatre Company, shakespeare, Shakespeare's macbeth, The Lyceum, william shakespeare
If you’ve been thinking of going to see this but haven’t quite got round to it you better get your finger out because it ends on Saturday.
And extracting the digit would be a very good idea.
I approached this with no real qualifications and indeed comment on it as a Shakespearean no mark. I have not studied even a page of Shakespeare in my life. I don’t understand the politics (and boy there’s plenty here) the language, the context or the history. Apart from that I am scholarly.
So Joyce Macmillan’s two star review in The Scotsman alarmed me. What was I letting myself in for?
I’ll tell you what. A bloody good night’s entertainment (with the emphasis on bloody).
The staging was magnificent, the lighting, sound design and music; all terrific.
The acting was top notch. Liam Brennan as Macbeth looks like he’s put his heart, soul and every ounce of his being into this role. He looks and sounds exhausted, but that’s because his passion for the part and command of the stage and the role are quite remarkable. Allison McKenzie, as his complicent wife (complicent in the lust for power that is) belies the fact that she has made her name in River City – a soap that I have thankfully managed to avoid totally, and Jimmy Chisholm in a number of roles is great; particularly in the one comedy scene as the drunken Porter in which he brought the house down.
It’s an intense and very involving theatrical experience and hugely rewarding.
In recalling MacMillan’s review the thing that stood out was her dismissal of the period setting (is modern necessarily good I ask myself?) and her strong criticism of the role of the witches which she, from memory, saw as overly indulgent, overpowering and ham fisted. Me? I thought they were an imaginative and thrilling part of the whole.
Please see it if you have the chance.
It brought back memories of my one and only Shakespearean involvement, in the chorus of Verdi’s Macbeth by Edinburgh Grand Opera in the late 80′s. Another superb production featuring one of opera’s least talented practitioners. Moi. But boy did I enjoy it.
So that’s two Macbeth’s and two stonkers. I am lucky indeed.
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