Just to point out to whichever silly person who wrote the review on the 22nd November highlighting Sean Bean's use of the word 'Chuck' (as in 'be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck' - III.ii). Before you make disparaging comments about text, check the script - it's in there. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
20 Feb 03
Seen this several times now because I've enjoyed it so much. Its fast-paced, dark, exciting and above all - entertaining. Samantha Bond is wonderful as Lady M and all the cast are good but its Sean Bean who stays in the memory as he takes you on his journey of self-destruction. I hope we see more of him on stage in the future. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
20 Feb 03
Went to see Sean Bean and Samantha Bond in The Scottish Play (is it bad luck to post the real name on a theatre website?).This was mostly like watching a school play. Samantha Bond was excellent but what was Sean Bean thinking of in deciding to use his monotone yorkshire accent, it totally spoilt Shakespeare's verse and made the character quite unbelievable.The witches (Kate Bush clones)were on and off the stage every 10 minutes just in case we didn't get the point that they orchestrate the evil in the play.Still, at least Sean took his top off which was probably what most of the audience went to see him for!
- USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
19 Feb 03
one of the most captivating performances of shakespere i have had the pleasure to encounter. Edward Halls clever interpretation must be praised. I particulary enjoyed the sexy potrayal of the witches and Sean Beans ability to clearly identify and express the deteriation of Macbeth as well as his terrific stage presence.Encore! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
07 Feb 03
Pretty poor - Samantha Bond is wonderful, but Sean Bean is a real sour note. The night I saw him he messed up several lines; what happened to line scansion? The Reduced Shakespeare Company do a better Macbeth than this. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
19 Dec 02
Although I have been to the theatre many times over the years I have never tackled Shakespeare before so had a few reservations - would I get it? would I get into the language? I put aside my reservations and went with an open mind and was absolutely blown away by the whole thing. The play moved at a very fast pace and was compelling throughout and I soon got into the story and loved every minute of it. Sean Bean as Macbeth was wonderful and Samantha Bond as Lady Macbeth was staggering. I also have to mention Mark Bazely as MacDuff and Barnaby Kay as Banquo who were both outstanding. The gothic set, music and smoke all added to the atmosphere. I'm glad I took a chance and saw this play. MACbeth is MACnificent. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
14 Dec 02
I have been reading a lot of reviews of this play - an experience which has completely destroyed my faith in theatre critics, your own included. Before the play opened I predicted to a friend that Sean Bean's warm, muscular Northern accent and status as a TV and film hearthrob would cause nothing but snobbery, resentment and carping among London critics - and to my great disappointment I was absolutely right. I could have added that some critics seemed completely unaware of what the theatre is all about. This is a fizzing production, popular but not stupid, with brilliant touches and twists which hold together well; I have seen it several times now and though Sean Bean was nervous in previews he is now utterly at home and enjoying himself in the role - making it thoroughly his own. Go and see it! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
06 Dec 02
In response to Maxwell Cooter's comments on Sean Bean's performance, I would suggest he revisit the production. I found marked differences in Mr Bean's performance on two separate nights. In the second, seen on the 21st Nov. he was far more commanding, more kingly, more energised. Could it be that one drawback of not performing on stage for 13 years is the difficulty of producing the same intensity of performance each night?
I enjoyed both nights and would love to have gone again and it certainly was not Mark Bazely's performance, however critically approved, that attracted. Samantha Bond, yes. It is hard to imagine how any other British stage actor today could have more successfuly portrayed the plight of a warrior who destroys himself by betraying his own code of honour. Sean Bean was utterly believable and one cared for and about him throughout. Could it be that he has created a fleshly Macbeth, a real person, rather than the"soldier poet' that some theatre critics expect? The language in Macbeth is stunning even by Shakespeare's standards but Sean Bean does have the ability to show us the man behind the words and he DOMINATES the stage. Edward Hall's production does emphasise action over the supernatural element and yes, one could prefer more suspense, more tension as in an old Hitchcock movie where the gore is always around the corner rather than in your face, but given that that choice was made, Sean Bean made a pretty complete character out of Macbeth and only the jaded Shakespearian could find much to fault. I hope the critics will not put Mr Bean off returning to the stage for future productions, because it ain't much money for a lot of work and even more flak. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
03 Dec 02
Having been subjected to truly appaling treatments of Shakespeare over the years, I have to say I found this MacBeth a very pleasant surprise. I saw it the evening of Nov. 16th. Bad points: I did not care for several of the sound effects, or for the costumes & set particularly. The opening battle seemed a bit slow, though later in the play, the duels were quite good. The first act overall was weakened by the cast's rushing through many of the lines, the exceptions being Samantha Bond and Julian Glover as the Porter. Putting automatic weapons and broadswords in the same play was quite silly. Good points: Samantha Bond's Lady MacBeth. As a woman who unleashed the worst insticts in herself and her husband, then recoils in horror at what she has done, it was excellent. While some fuss has been made over the sexual relationship between Lady M and MacBeth, it worked. Sean Bean's physical portrayal of MacBeth did too. He uses his 'bit of rough' image very effectively in this role. While Bean's first act the night I attended seemed tired at points, he crackled with energy in the second act. MacBeth's descent into paranoia, guilt and fear was played with passion and clarity. Mark Bazeley's MacDuff was also excellent. Malcolm's emergence from weenie-boy prince to dicator was a thought-provoking twist, as was presenting Ross as a double agent. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
26 Nov 02
If I have a complaint about Macbeth (seen twice)it is the complaint I have when bits are chopped out of anything. Sean Bean was great, Samantha Bond was great, Barnaby thing was great, King Duncan( sorry I can never remember names) also. I would change little things but Macbeth IS an action hero gone wrong. He is no Hamlet. He is overtaken by remorse which manifests itself in "night horrors" and takes the only way forward he knows...to fight his way out. I cannot imagine anyone better to play him than Sean Bean. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
26 Nov 02
What a terrible production. Poor Samantha Bond giving it her all among so many others giving so little. There was much mindbogglingly lacklustre stuff but in particular the witches were utterly bland, and Edward Hall seems to have so little faith in the great drama of Shakespeare's climax that he kept interspersing the text with awful sequences of flashing lights, straight off The Weakest Link. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
25 Nov 02
I was at Tuesday's preview and overall I found it really enthralling. It's my favourite Shakespeare play and I was pleased to see somebody deal with it the military and political aspects at last rather than the Mr and Mrs Macbeth interpretations which have held sway over recent years. Anyone remember Alan Howard and Anastasia Hille on a gas ring at the National a few years back? I'd have left at the interval had there been one. Thought Sean Bean was OK - a sort of Boromir in Scotland - but obviously nervous. Minus points are the bizarre pseudo Latin music and some very dodgy verse speaking in the smaller roles. Plus points, Samantha Bond's Lady Macbeth - she makes the character's motivation totally consistent from the first line - the emphasis on Macbeth as anti hero and Malcolm as a selfish prig (I loved the last scene) and Julian Glover who made the Porter make sense at long last. And yes, I'd love to see Kenneth Branagh have a crack at the role. Anybody else out there remember him and Samantha Bond in Romeo and Juliet at Hammersmith? If they'd been reunited in this we might just have had one of the best Macbeth productions ever. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
22 Nov 02
Maybe in the minority here but I saw the production on Saturday night and didn't like what I saw.
The Bad Points first
The time zone didn't sit right as you had storm troopers with full automatic machine guns, soliders with radio back packs and helicopters; yet they insisting on riding on horses and fighting with swords. Get rid of those bits and the warfare would be consistent.
The cast didn't seem like an ensemble with some completely wasted, some not knowing which accent to stay in, some under acting whilst others over act.
Sean Bean actually saying "Chuck" to Sam Bond, which got a great big laugh from the audience.
The Good Points
Some amazing pieces of direction including the opening sequenence - don't take a drink in otherwise you might wear it.
Some of the speeches and use of "dead characters" was terrific - enhancing the poignancy.
The feast sequence was extremely clever and I'm still trying work it out.
The ending was quite nice as well.
It's only the third preview and Ed was there taking notes, so he's taking note - let's hope he corrects a few of these as once that happens, it will be a fine production...
Though it will never match the Anthony Sher / Harriet Walters version I saw at the Young Vic years ago..
- USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
22 Nov 02
Saw it on the second night of the previews at the Albery - thought it was excellent. Sean Bean gave what I thought was a brilliant performance. I shall certainly be going again - if I can get a ticket! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
22 Nov 02
This was a very visual, fast-paced and physical production, with plenty of sex and dirt along the way. The dramatic set and the excellent use of lighting complimented the action well. Sean Bean and Samantha Bond gave extraordinary performances, and there was strong support from other members of the cast. A different, fresh, and exciting take on the play, made for an extremely enjoyable night out. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (18.104.22.168)
12 Nov 02
Disappointing to say the least. It was Shakespeare chopped up and spewed out in a mixed up mess that did not know if it was coming or going. Sean Bean, though good as Macbeth tried too hard and the role did not come naturally to him. The three witches in thsexy gowns means that some original shakespeare is lost too. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (22.214.171.124)
12 Nov 02
Try as they did the cast were unable to pull it off. I've seen bad adaptions before but this one pushed me too far. Lacking horribly - USER: Whatsonstage.com (126.96.36.199)
12 Nov 02
Macbeth is a tricky play to stage - there's lots of soliloquies early on and making the language sound natural is a struggle - that said, the story has everything - murder, intrigue, burning ambition, human frailty and guilt, dishonour and sexual tension to boot... this production at the Albery with its all star cast of Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sean Bean and Miss MoneyPenny, Samantha Bond starts explosively and carries the story along pretty well with a good performance from Sean and a superlative one from Samantha. Starting with three sexy redheads as the witches the production design is clearly meant to excite and entice a younger than average theatre audience, and with bold costume designs has a very distinctive look. Parts of the first act falter slightly with some of the longer passages of dialogue but the set scenes are handled brilliantly - Macbeth's horror at his actions are well communicated and Lady Macbeth's insane ambition is given just treatment by Bond's former PA. In the second act things really start to come together and the cast, set and production work extremely well to bring the audience into the haunted castle and then out onto the battlefield. The fighting scenes are worth a special mention - there is absolutely no holding back with the sword fights which are convincing and shocking in their ferocity. In the end Macbeth's inevitable fall from invincibility to certain death is handled brilliantly by Sean Bean - his horror at discovering the true meaning of the witches' prophesy is conveyed with total conviction and honesty - it was only left to the teenage fanclub to scream their appreciation to remind one that this is a sex symbol who just happens to be a very good actor. If this is what it takes to get younger people interested in Shakespeare then it is a very fine thing indeed.
- USER: Whatsonstage.com (188.8.131.52)
12 Nov 02
Samantha Bond and Sean Bean are a brilliant pairing for these emotionally-draining roles in Macbeth. The despair and gradual decline into madness of Lady Macbeth is balanced perfectly against the rising greed of Macbeth. watch out for some great performances from Mark Bazeley, Barnaby Kay and Julian Glover as well. Fantastic! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
10 Nov 02
Sean Bean and Samantha Bond were excellent as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The production starts with 'bang' (literally)and maintains its pace.The staging and lighting were very good.
This is quite a sexy Macbeth with the witches as voluptous sirens in slinky satin gowns,perhaps playing up to Sean's image as a sex symbol! Watch out for Mark Bazeley as Macduff and Barnaby Kay as Banquo, two great performances.Expect lots of gore and you wont be disappointed! - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
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