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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. Read the rest of this entry »