Very disappointing indeed. I was expecting a great deal from this production but it simply failed to deliver - too many ideas that just didn't work and undistinguished performances from the principals. I left at the interval. - J D Atkinson
24 Sep 11
I thought the production was very impressive. The kings coronation was very innovative and I liked the interactive use of all the stage and the descending children. I would however have liked them to stay as witches. This was my first Macbeth and would have like to have heard what the prophecies were from a trained actor not a child who rushed their lines. I thought Lady Macbeth was excellent. I likey Seyton's characher but it was confusing if he was a devil like character of just Macbeths porter. Not sure why he was present whenever a dead body became a 'ghost'. Enjoyed the first half more than the second. The scene with Malcolm and Macduff could have done with being edited to half as long. Overall though - really good.
13 Sep 11
The new theatre is excellent in my opinion - more spacce and still keeping the feeling of a Shakespearean theatre. I was disappointed in the casting of Macbeth. The understudy was on as Macbeth, the lead was ill, he was good and so was Banquo - I was unconvinced by this Lady Macbeth, she was not charismatic. The idea of the children instead of the witches was appalling and confusing. I also found some of the set direction confusing and not really atmospheric - the supernatural aspect was totally ignored - Banquo's ghost appears like a big hulking man and stomps around the stage, giving no atmosphere - but all in all, any RCS production is good and special, but this is not one of the best. - laura
09 Sep 11
One of the most uncomfortable seats I've ever had the misfortune to sit on in a theatre. The problem was compounded further by the poor performance relative to previous RSC productions. - Steve Mackern
02 Sep 11
Our seats in the Circle to the side were very good in terms of stage view - but not much leg room even on an aisle seat. The set was very good and I thought the space was used well from Banquo smashing through from below to the air space used by a number of the characters. The idea of children in the 'witches' role was effective, particularly when they doubled for Macduff's tragic youngsters. Enjoyed the performance of both Lady M's; but agree that there was a lot of running around which felt a little comedic in places. The porter scene was ridiculous and embarrassing - even the actor didn't seem convinced. - AmandaB
11 Aug 11
Not the great experience one expects from the RSC and a big disappointment at the long awaited revamped theatre.The acoustics are not wonderful at the rear of the stalls and the obvious presence of the audience made it difficult to suspend belief. The constant running on and off the stage became tedious and almost farcical.
The production itself never really took off - it seemed tame and drama school-ish rather than the powerful portrayal of evil it should be. The choice of children as witches and the decision to portray Macbeth as a weak man contributed to this. - BrianW
21 Jul 11
I thought it was pretty good, but as others had mentioned I didn't get the "suicide bomber" porter at all. And although the kids were talented, would rather they stuck with the "weird sisters" as witches (weird children are what, Harry Potter & co? ;-). I do agree that Cardenio was a much more impressive production and suggest that over Macbeth if you have to see just one. - Carl C
07 Jul 11
Not bad. The lighting (positioning) is poor. The ending is physically confused. The children as witches starts excellently but gets weaker. the addition of a comedy line in a contemporary style made me cringe. Macbeth is pretty good. The acting generally is very average - lots of racing on stage and then standing stock still for the rest of the scene. The music was very good. - Nick James
05 Jul 11
Sitting in the second row alongside the long "thrust" of the stage, we were below the level of the boards (MTV style) and had stage lights shining in our eyes throughout.
Bob Marley-esque "Banquo" and the sudden drop, from above, of myriad black dolls representing his kingly seed, was laughable. Use of the Northern Irish accent, the Southern Irish and Caribbean pidgin accent was defusing. Are we politically correct or merely confused? Are the actors, above all, wanting to be themselves? They did well then.
Jonathan Slinger is fantastic. - Jocasta Shakespeare
27 Jun 11
For me, this production was often too self-aware to have emotional power. I did not get a sense of a moral and emotional journey from the two main characters. Lady Macduff was the highight for me - played with ferocity and a new interpretation of the usually 'milky' character we usually see on stage. - Sandy
26 May 11
Really disappointed. I found the new theatre was uncomfortable - even in a top price seat and the production was poor. I had high hopes of Jonathan Slinger and Michael Boyd having been blown away by the Histories, but this production had everything thrown at it in the hope that something would stick. Unfortunately, little of it convinced. And the Porter as a 'suicide bomber'? These days? Unfunny. See the REALLY excellent Cardenio instead. - Jude Cole
07 May 11
If you saw Simon Russell-Beale's Macbeth at The Almeida (compelling sense of a human emptying into nothing), I think you will feel the flaws in this eccentric production. Scenes are changed in sequence and to an extent conflated for no good reason that I could perceive. I had a sense of the actors making a brave show with an ill-conceived overall vision, and felt sorry for them as a result. The children were excellent in what was required of them. See "Cardenio" in The Swan and have a more stimulating and energised evening would be my recommendation. As an aside, it would not surprise me if the RSC were to crave a theatre with a procenium arch in a few years from now. - Shamus
04 May 11
I was very disappointed, mainly in the new theatre. My (not cheap) seat at the side had an interrupted view due to a pillar yet had not been advertised as having a restricted view. From my vantage point I could see little of the cellists on the balcony behind the stage, only saw the descending children after everyone else had gasped and never saw the stained glass windows. The play did not involve me. My children had better seats and enjoyed it much more. - Beck
02 May 11
A dark telling of Macbeth graces the new RST stage and delivers with a compelling production. Jonathan Slinger's Macbeth is very dark indeed, supported by Aislin McGuckin who eventually grows into the role as Lady Macbeth. What works particularly well is replacing the witches with children who also play murdered children of Macduff. It makes their involvement all the more shocking. This Macbeth is not perfect but it delivers a strong homecoming production for the RSC at the RST. - Paul Wallis
27 Apr 11
I do not have a history or a deep knowledge of the original MACBETH, but I saw this production last week and I was blown away, almost in tears at one point. I really loved it! - Addie
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