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Macbeth @ Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre, York

NB while to my knowledge there is no official press night, this piece concerns the first ‘preview’ of Macbeth. ‘I begin to grow a’weary of the sun’. Macbeth looked it, too. On the hottest day of the year so far, the cast of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre’s Macbeth performed in direct sunlight in temperatures of 31 …

Veeram @ Ulster Museum

One of the many advantages of Ramona Wray and Mark Thornton Burnett hosting this year’s British Shakespeare Association conference in Belfast was that, in line with their research interests, the conference featured an extraordinary line-up of international Shakespearean film. I didn’t get to all, but I was pleased to catch the British premiere of Veeram, …

Macbeth @ The National Theatre

‘Now, after a civil war’ declared the programme, presaging the latest in a long line of not-quite-now post-apocalyptic settings for a major Shakespearean production. In Rufus Norris’s hands, the concept was at its laziest; not here the specificity of a post-Brexit decline as in Melly Still’s Cymbeline at the RSC. In this Macbeth, Scotland (dominated …

Macbeth (RSC Live from Stratford) @ Nottingham Broadway

At the moment of Duncan’s death, a timer set at two hours appeared on the upstage wall, and began counting down. Polly Findlay’s Macbeth – and Christopher Ecclestone’s titular monarch – shifted from that point into an inevitable decline, the ever-present clock reminding Macbeth of the inevitable consequences of his fatal action. And with two …

Macbeth (GSP Studios) – private pre-release screening @ The Courthouse Hotel, London

Macbeth is a play that has a strong association in the imaginary with its implied landscapes. The images of the heaths, mountains, caves and woods of Scotland, first captured in engravings of scenes from the play in the eighteenth century, and culminating in films such as those of Roman Polanski (1971) and Justin Kurzel (2015), …

Macbeth @ The Young Vic

The idea of a Macbeth co-directed by a director with classical experience (Carrie Cracknell) and a choreographer (Lucy Guerin) is an intriguing one, especially when this team has had prior success with a provocative Medea at the National. Yet the overall effect of the Young Vic’s new Macbeth was something less than the sum of …

Macbeth @ Hyde Park Cinema, Leeds

Justin Kurzel’s new film of Macbeth, one of the most frequently filmed of all Shakespeare’s plays, arrives carrying with it the threat of modishness. Capitalising on the success of the Game of Thrones ‘medieval’ aesthetic template, and starring the so-hot-right-now Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, themselves successful arthouse/mainstream crossover actors, the film’s formula for artistic …

Macbeth (Filter) @ Liverpool Everyman

Filter is one of my favourite theatre companies, whether for its wonderfully anarchic Shakespeare productions or for its thought-provoking new writing, so it is with no small regret that I have to confess to disappointment at Macbeth. The raw materials of Filter’s work – an exposed production of sound, musicians at the heart of action, …

Ubu Roi (Cheek by Jowl) @ Theatre of Nations, Moscow

Normally I would not be writing about a production of a Jarry play on this blog. However, given that the play itself draws liberally on Macbeth, Richard III and Hamlet; that this production is by a company about whom I am preparing to write a book; and that I’ve travelled to Moscow in order to …

Macbeth (Manchester International Festival) @ NT Live

The camerawork for the NT Live screenings has developed extraordinarily since the project’s early days. Covering Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford’s Macbeth, cameras swooped over the action, fast editing gave a kinetic and chaotic insight into the battle scenes, extreme close-ups caught beads of sweat and tears on Macduff’s face, and the slow pans to …