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