Hated this performance thought it made shakespeare alot more confusing than it needed to be. Despite knowing the story myself to poeple who may not have been clear they wouldnt have been able to pick it up and despite knowing about the story i still couldnt work out who was who they confused the characters by multiroling and it just didnt work. i understand it was a modern take on it but i have seen modern productions of this before and they were done imaginatively but keepinjg to the stotry. I couldnt fault the singing but that even felt like it was out of place. it was messy and confusing when there was singign and talking going on....what to listen to.
I was really looking forward to seeing this production and was v disapointed
:( - tinkerbell101
10 Nov 10
Intense, disturbing, raw, the final nail in the coffin of vaulted ambition. I loved this play, found Macbeth well acted, Lady Macbeth brilliantly acted, the set perfect, MacDuff brilliant and by the end a character that grew in stature perfectly. - Pete Maguire
15 May 10
Edgy, nervous, awkward, inaudible, dramatic but with flashes of brilliance.
I agree with the comments about the doubling up, the identical outfits, only two witches and missing text. I felt as though the performance a lot of the time was all up in the air in a kind of mental maelstrom with no guts or grounding. There were some great moments, the sleepwalking being one and I had goosebumps quite a few times but I'm not sure if that was my familiarity with the text and my own imagination at work or from what I was seeing and hearing.
I thought the idea of a blind Duncan who literally couldn't see what was happening was a really interesting twist and I'd agree that the post-banquet chat was very effective.
The language was spoken so quickly that if I didn't know it so well I think I would have missed quite a bit.
Overall though, for me, it didn't hit the spot. Compared to my last Macbeth, Patrick Stewart and Co at the Gielgud where my heart almost stopped with terror in the banquet scene and I think this one will probably fade from memory in a year or two. Shame as it has some great moments but it never really came together convincingly for me.
- Stephen Watson
12 May 10
Outstanding! The most daring and original production of Shakespeare in years!!! Will Keen's and Anastasia Hille's performances are just mesmerizing! Maxwel Cooter, you'd better go back to review computers... theatre is not your forte... - John Fothergill
09 Apr 10
It's Richard Johnston again, I made a mistake: I meant to rate "5 stars" (*****) this superb production, sorry. - Richard Johnston
09 Apr 10
PETER BROOK said about this production. "It's the best Macbeth I have ever seen" and I, humbly agree with the master, there's no doubt that this is the definitive Macbeth. The performances are memorable. If you can get tickets (it's sold out) don't miss it. - Richard Johnston
09 Apr 10
In the best productions Shakespeare's challenging text can burst into life with dazzling effect. At other times it can be like trying to decipher a foreign language. I felt sorry for anyone seeing this as their first Macbeth because Cheek by Jowl have stripped so much away the play itself almost disappears. Played on a vast stage with almost no props, not even a dagger, the show gets off to a bad start with the entire cast present to listen to the three witches voiced by just two actresses, one of whom plays Lady Macbeth. The cast is small with most doubling or tripling roles, all identically clad in black which makes identifying characters unnecessrily confusing. Some of the verse speaking is barely adequate and many of the major moments are botched - the death of Lady Macbeth is ridiculous. The light and sound designs are superbly atmospheric, but maybe the memory of the fantastic Rupert Goold / Patrick Stewart Macbeth is still too vivid. - David Baxter
08 Apr 10
I agree that the 2 leads start off being too emotionally fragile. i didn't find Keens gestures irritating, but Hillie i always find has a whiney tone. There are though some incredibly gripping scenes where i literally felt my pulse quicken and my breathing change, i felt at times as if mine and macbeth's destinies were intwined.
I felt that having the ensemble always watching worked by adding to the claustrophbia.
There are some bits that dont work but i do reccomend you see it, because unlike many other productions it really does make choices. Its not just another macbeth its a unique interpretation. - pete
30 Mar 10
Maxwell Cooter's review is absolutely spot on. - Jane
28 Mar 10
This production is an absolute marvel: Moving, profound, disturbing, clear. No concession to cliché (So loved by professional critics in this country) This Macbeth is not just the cold and ambitious monster that we're so use to see on stage but the desperate husband and father trying to fill the impossible gap of a lost child in his and his wife's life, the man fooled by his own arrogance, the minotaur lost in the labyrinth's "nearest way". A painful, deep and beautiful insight into the absurdity of life for the sake of it. Will Keen's performance is a masterpiece, a real capolavoro of paranoia, a journey to despair and destruction. Anastasia Hille's Lady Macbeth a perfect dissection of loneliness and loss. You'd better not miss it; might be the last chance to experience -in slightly more than two hours- the most sublime and despicable of humanity. - Mary
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