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Macbeth: A Conjuring (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Macbeth: A Conjuring is a welcome anomaly in the era of streamed and socially distanced theatre. For Bonfire Night 2020, as part of its ‘Shakespeare and Fear’ festival, the Globe reunited the cast of its 2018 Macbeth (reviewed on The Bardathon here) to offer a socially distanced, partially staged reading of the play. It’s a great use …

Macbeth (Big Telly) @ Zoom

Macbeth’s uncanniness, its waywardness (to take the word that Scott Newstok and Ayanna Thompson’s important book privileges), is central to its blurring of boundaries, its confusion between what is real and what is not. Zoom offers an ideal medium to explore this uncanniness. Big Telly’s production, broadcast in collaboration with Creation Theatre, exploited all the …

Macbeth (Berliner Ensemble) @ BE At Home

Michael Thalheimer’s 2018 production of Macbeth, as preserved in the Berliner Ensemble’s stream for its ‘BE At home’ programme during the Covid-19 lockdown, is immersed in corporeality. This is not a production in which bodies are aestheticised, but one in which they excrete, expel, merge and bloat. Macbeth (Sascha Nathan) describes himself as Duncan’s butcher, and that’s …

Macbeth (Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank) @ Shakespeare’s Globe (webstream)

At a taut ninety minutes, the Playing Shakespeare production of Macbeth staged at Shakespeare’s Globe in early 2020 – just before the pandemic shut down theatres – converts well into a pacey film that preserves the raw energy of a production performed to thousands of schoolchildren (always a reliably vocal audience, especially at the Globe) …

Macbeth (Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch and Derby Theatre) @ Derby Theatre

It can seem like faint praise to focus on a production’s lighting, but Derby Theatre’s new Macbeth was truly extraordinarily well lit. Daniella Beattie’s simple designs created a world of shadow and fear, in combination with Ruari Murchison’s set. For much of the production, a deep stage heavily front-lit created an upstage area that was …

Macbeth @ Manchester Royal Exchange

For about half an hour before the Royal Exchange’s Macbeth started, the atrium of the Royal Exchange was rocked by rumbles and explosions, which became increasingly unsettling as the start time drew near. Christopher Haydon’s production – especially in Elena Peña’s sound design – sought to set up a world rent asunder by war long …

Macbeth (National Theatre) @ Nottingham Theatre Royal

I didn’t hate the National Theatre’s Macbeth when I saw it last April, but I was underwhelmed. The production has since closed in London, been re-cast, and is now touring the country, opening last night at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal. While the production has an entirely new cast, it remained very close to the London version, …

Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe) @ The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Macbeth – which of course, may well have been adapted for the King’s Men after the company’s acquisition of the Blackfriars – seems ideally suited to the chiaroscuro potential of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. More so than any production I’ve seen there since The Duchess of Malfi, Robert Hastie’s production played with the sounds that …

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, …