– Events in 2013 > Opening night of ‘Macbeth’ held at the Trafalgar Studios – Departures, thanks to Nicole
– Events in 2013 > Opening night of ‘Macbeth’ held at the Trafalgar Studios – Departures, thanks to Nicole
– Stage > Macbeth by William Shakespeare – Performances
by Louise Jury
He starred in the action movie Wanted opposite Angelina Jolie, played a telepathic superhero in X-Men: First Class and won the heart of Keira Knightley in Atonement.
But as he prepares to face theatre critics tonight, James McAvoy said playing Macbeth was tearing him apart.
“It’s like being mentally ill and being beaten up a lot. This is undoubtedly the hardest part I’ve ever played,” said McAvoy, 33, of the production in which he is constantly running, fighting and proving himself the bloodied virile soldier.
“I always wanted it to be a physical production because it’s a play that talks about killing people and killing people with your hands. It just so happened that the director Jamie Lloyd seemed to want to go for that with gusto. But be careful what you wish for. Now I’m falling to pieces.”
Lloyd’s version is set in a post-apocalyptic world of environmental disaster half a century in the future, with a dark atmosphere of godless superstition. McAvoy and Claire Foy, 28, who plays Lady Macbeth, are much younger than many of the actors who have tackled the roles — including Ian McKellen, Judi Dench and Patrick Stewart — and McAvoy said their youth “just increases the tragedy of the situation”.
Shakespeare suggests that Lady Macbeth has recently lost a baby and McAvoy sees the notion of “a big hole in their lives” as the fire that drives the drama. “The tragedy of their childlessness is really relevant. They’re at an age where they should have been making babies,” he said. Foy, who starred in Upstairs Downstairs, said: “I think it does add to the vibrancy of the production that we’re younger. He’s a brave warrior. I’m supposed to be a fertile young woman. But we end up throwing our entire lives away.”
The play is the first by Trafalgar Transformed, a partnership between director Lloyd and theatre owner Howard Panter. It runs at the Trafalgar Studios until April 27. Day seats cost £10. www.macbethwestend.com
James McAvoy and Claire Foy posed for a photocall launching the Trafalgar Studios season with ‘Macbeth‘ on February 21, 2013 in London, England.
– Events in 2013 > Trafalgar Studios Production Of ‘Macbeth’ – Photocall, thanks to Nicole
Review by Peter Brown
16 Feb 2013
Studio 1 at Trafalgar Studios has been ‘transformed’. So announces the programme in bold red letters. Some extra bold red seats have been added at the back of the stage, so that some of the audience have the privilege of rubbing shoulders (almost) with the actors. And the acting area has been extended outwards too so that we all feel a little closer to the action. In fact, some of the audience sitting on-stage, suddenly felt like they might be sitting a little too close. When a torrent of blood came tumbling from on high, it inadvertently splashed several people sitting in the first row or two. One woman in particular caused some mirth among the rest of us as she tried to scrape the detritus from her once-sparkling footwear. Still, this is is what live theatre is all about and if you want to be part of it, you have to accept the odd splash of blood from time to time… apparently.
In this version of ‘Macbeth’ directed by Jamie Lloyd we visit a depressed, dingy and almost totally derelict Scotland. It feels like it could be present day, or maybe some time in the not-too-distant future. Perhaps Mr Lloyd is pointing to what might happen if Scotland leaves the United Kingdom and takes the path of independence. Another possibility is the effect of global warming, or some catastrophic economic disaster. Whatever the possible cause, Scotland is in a parlous state and the population are obviously suffering considerable hardship. Even the children and mums wear gumboots and green military-style dress. And personal hygiene appears to have taken a back seat long ago, and the clothes people wear are heavily soiled and stained. So, there are few signs of comfort in this vision of Scotland, even though there are still cans of beer for soldiers to celebrate with. Continue reading Review of Macbeth with James McAvoy at Trafalgar Studios
Posted on February 14, 2013 by Poly Gianniba
Should I start at the beginning or the end? The very good or the not so good? Any way you look at it, Jamie Lloyd’s production of Macbeth at the Trafalgar studios (or Trafalgar Transformed as it’s being rebranded) is a play of two halves: until the interval, I was happy to declare it one of the best productions in recent memory. After the interval, it lost momentum and struggled to regain focus.
Some problems in the second half are due to long absences of the protagonist: his name is above the title and his performance shows he deserves it. James McAvoy accommodates the soldier, the husband, the friend and the killer with surprising ease. The words dance out of his mouth fresh and unexpected. His Macbeth is clear eyed about moral consequences though unapologetic about his choices. Apparitions, ghosts and bloody daggers hang around him as much as in him. He fights them as much as he welcomes them. It’s a fearless commanding performance of light and shade, and it fuels the production.
Claire Foy as Lady Macbeth matches his drive and strength. Their first physical contact is of birds beaking each other. Their scene in Act III is full of danger: he can snap her in two, she can throw him in hell. Their every moment together is of tenderness and death.
Read the rest of the review at the original source!
James McAvoy and Claire Foy make a murderously attractive pair.
What can they bring to the Scottish play?
Jasper Rees – 10 February 2013
In the British Museum’s Shakespeare: Staging the World show last year, the most gruesome exhibit was a set of iron gags and jagged bridles used for the restraining of witches. Jacobean anxiety about the dire influence of “weird sisters” lives on in the rituals that surround Macbeth. The Scottish play, as actors fearfully call it, is back in the West End; and doubtless, at the Trafalgar Studios, there will be much spinning, spitting and cursing to counter the usual hexes. But they can be assured of warding off ill fortune at the box office, thanks to the presence of the most attractive young couple to murder their way to the Scottish throne in living memory.
Combine the years of James McAvoy, 33, and Claire Foy, 28, and they’re still five short of Patrick Stewart’s age when he embarked on his award-winning run in the role in 2007. McAvoy’s gingery beard has stripped away some of the callowness associated with his performances in The Last King of Scotland, Atonement and The Last Station. “When you meet Macbeth, he’s been away for quite a while,” he suggests, “and I don’t think he’s had access to a shaving kit.” For Foy, though, there’s no getting away from the fact that twice last year — in Love Love Love at the Royal Court and in the BBC’s White Heat — she was thoroughly convincing as a teenager. She should by rights be having a crack at Juliet. Indeed, she once went up for the role at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, but the job required her to double up as Gigi. “And I can’t sing to save my bloody life. It was a disaster.” Instead, for her professional Shakespeare debut, she will be given the daggers. Continue reading Monarchs of the glen
When Jamie Lloyd’s Macbeth opened last night at Trafalgar Studios in London (I’ll get to the performance in a moment, but suffice it to say for now–incredible) the audience were made to wait in the foyer because “it’s not set up yet” the usher explained with a funny laugh (the type of laugh reserved for Big Surprises). We were excited, but we were getting more and more cramped. The frisson of curiosity was building. What should we expect?
We were already unsure what to expect before we arrived, as we’ve never experienced Stage Seating at the Trafalgar Studios before. At last we were directed downstairs, past the bar and then further down, past the stage door and then up again into a dystopian warehouse ringed in plush red seats. We were transfixed by the set–they had created a theatre-in-the-round and we, the audience were surrounded by the rusty, dusty, crumbling warehouse. We were all going to be in it together.
The seating was comfortable and as we had a drama student with us we were pleased to be on the aisle because much of the performance spilled into the walkway between the two sets of seats and she could see the actors even more up close—it was a case of moving your feet out of the way to keep from getting stomped on as the actors charged about.
We had been told in the foyer that the performance would start at 7.30 and yet it wasn’t until 7.40ish that it began. But then again, the performance really started the moment we were asked to wait in the foyer–crowds of people waiting in the holding area then directed according to our papers to areas where we would sit and watch the collapse of a man. What you expect to happen doesn’t, and what you don’t expect does. Intended or not, this served to set the scene of discord, surprise and wonder which would continue throughout the play; whether this was a nifty first-night mix-up or an intended device, it worked. Continue reading Jamie Lloyd’s Macbeth
Just over two weeks remain before Scottish star James McAvoy takes to the stage in Jamie Lloyd’s highly anticipated production of Macbeth.
William Shakespeare’s dark and powerful tragedy, which will also see Claire Foy take on the role of the tyrannical leader’s ruthlessly ambitious wife, plays at the Trafalgar Studio 1 from 9 February.
But if you can’t wait until then, photographer Johan Persson snuck into rehearsals to give us a look behind the scenes.
Jamie Lloyd will direct Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy.
Jamie Lloyd said: “I am thrilled to announce the first production for Trafalgar Transformed – a season of politically-charged power plays on the doorstep of Whitehall, accompanied by a festival of platform events, discussions and readings.
“We hope to welcome new and diverse audiences to the West End and I am very excited to engage with schools and other groups via a series of bespoke workshops and master classes.”
Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG) CEO and creative director Howard Panter added: “As the first production in Jamie Lloyd’s season of work for Trafalgar Transformed, we are thrilled that this bold production of the Scottish play will blast the roof off Trafalgar Studios, bringing an electric energy to this theatre.
“It’s a great pleasure to be starting on this exciting journey with Jamie Lloyd, a truly talented director.”
The production is set in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war, as Macbeth starts his struggle for power.
Performances will be on Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm, and Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.
Tickets are priced from £10 to £54.50, with all tickets £15 on Mondays – half of which are being made available to schools and first-time theatregoers and the other half released monthly on the first of each month.
Claire Foy, who is best known for starring in TV series White Heat and The Promise, will star as Lady Macbeth as part of a season of work directed by Jamie Lloyd at London’s Trafalgar Studios this spring.
She joins previously announced James McAvoy, who will play the title role in the production of Macbeth.
Lisa Gardner, Allison McKenzie and Olivia Morgan will appear as the three witches.
Other cast members will include Jamie Ballard, Graeme Dalling, Kevin Guthrie and Richard Hansell. Forbes Masson, Catherine Murray, Callum O’Neill, Mark Quartley and Hugh Ross will join them.
The show will run from February 9 to April 27, with press night now on February 22. It was previously scheduled for February 19.
Macbeth is produced by Jamie Lloyd Productions, which is a partnership between Jamie Lloyd and Ambassador Theatre Group.
– Stage: Ding Dong the Wicked by Caryl Churchill – Head Shots
– Stage: Ding Dong the Wicked by Caryl Churchill – Production Shots
Thanks to Lorna for the heads-up.
The Royal Court Theatre is renowned for its dedication to new and exciting writing and performance which addresses the issues and complications relevant to the social climate in which we live. Its program of exciting and interesting plays held at the Jerwood downstairs theatre executes their mission statement wonderfully and Ding Dong the Wicked is no exception.
“A child is shut in her room, a dog is dead in the road, someone is kissing her brother-in-law. A family locked in hatred is sending a son to war. And meanwhile in another country…”
Ding Dong the Wicked is a short play written by Caryl Churchill and currently being performed at the Royal Court Theatre in Sloane Square. A punchy and straight to the point piece of performance, the play effectively and efficiently portrays two sides of a scenario using the same dialogue twice and keeps the viewer hocked and intrigued throughout.
The play begins with a set of characters discussing and preparing for a member of the family to leave for war. A rich set of interactions between characters paint a vivid picture of the realities of family life whilst injecting glimmers of humour into the serious subject matter.
The scene appears black and the stage is reversed completely to mirror itself; the same actors then proceed to speak the same dialogue, albeit in an altered order, and act out a completely different set of characters in the same scenario.
The play is showing a direct comparison between the two sides of war. It brings humanity into the subject of war and addresses the one-sided approach people often take. Although different characters are present in the two halves of the performance, the actors, dialogue, props and scenario are all mirrored showing the similarities of opposing sides.
The play is an extremely intelligent piece of writing by Churchill, and is superbly performed by the small pool of company actors. Between the two halves of the performance, the characters are transformed and easily identifiable from their predecessors in the body language, tone and appearance of all the actors involved. A real stand-out performance was by that of Claire Foy who plays “young woman holding a flower” in the first scene and “young woman with a cigarette” in the second. Her transformation and mannerisms perfectly fit each character and lead the performance, guiding the audience through the increasingly similar narrative of the scenes.
An extremely intelligent and entertaining play, Ding Dong the Wicked is a definite must-see, showing at the Royal Court until 13th October. The short play poses a great social commentary and vivid acting all set within the wonderful theatre location which hosts an intimate bar and plenty of things to excite the mind.
The 2nd series of ‘Upstairs Downstairs‘ will finally air in the US on 6 consecutive Sundays, starting in October, on PBS Masterpiece:
October 7, 14, 21, 28 and November 4 & 11, 2012 at 9PM ET/CT
Claire Foy is returning to the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Downstairs next month. She’ll co-star in the 30 minute play ‘Ding Dong the Wicked‘ by Caryl Churchill, directed by Dominic Cooke.
Ding Dong The Wicked, a new short play by Caryl Churchill will run in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court between 1 and 13 October as an addition to the Royal Court’s autumn season.
The thirty minute play will be directed by Royal Court Artistic Director, Dominic Cooke and take place around the evening’s performance of Caryl Churchill’s main stage play Love and Information, with matinee and late night showings on certain days.
“There’s nothing I inherited except my father’s hair and his lefthandedness. Everything I got I earned.”
A child is shut in her room, a dog is dead in the road, someone is kissing her brother in law. A family locked in hatred is sending a son to war.
And meanwhile in another country…
The cast includes Claire Foy, Daniel Kendrick, Stuart McQuarrie and Sophie Stanton.
• Source: The Royal Court Theatre Press Release
Visit the official site to book your tickets.
After four weeks of rehearsals Claire Foy’s new play Love, Love, Love will open with previews tomorrow at the Royal Court Theatre – Jerwood Theatre Downstairs in London. It’s been extended and now runs until June 9 (one week longer). If you’re in London during the coming weeks why not book a ticket to see Claire Foy perform live? Here’s the trailer (no Claire):
– Stage: Love, Love, Love by Mike Bartlett
from The Telegraph / by Jasper Rees
Claire Foy made her name in a series of superior TV dramas. She talks to Jasper Rees about her new role in ‘Love, Love, Love’ at the Royal Court.
It is and isn’t easy being a photogenic young actress. A certain type of two-dimensional role grows on trees. But finding the kind with extra depth can be more of a challenge. Claire Foy was brought face to face with the way the industry at its most nakedly commercial sees young women when she auditioned for a film in Los Angeles.
“The character was supposed to be ‘the most beautiful girl that Johnny Depp has ever seen’,” she says. “And as I wouldn’t be the most beautiful girl that Johnny Depp has ever seen, I was like, ‘I don’t really know what to do because I’m obviously not right for this part.’ But you go up for it anyway and you don’t get it. I think I’m more suited to playing someone with a chip on their shoulder, probably about not being the most beautiful girl in the world.”