Macbeth (2013)

Claire Foy played Lady Macbeth
Shakespeare's Macbeth

MacbethPreview: February 9, 2013
Opening: February 22, 2013
Closing: April 27, 2013
Venue: Trafalgar Studios, London West End
Director: Jamie Lloyd
Script: William Shakespeare
Main Cast:

James McAvoy, Claire Foy, Jamie Ballard, Graeme Dalling, Kevin Guthrie, Richard Hansell, Forbes Masson, Catherine Murray, Callum O’Neill, Mark Quartley and Hugh Ross

Based Upon Play by William Shakespeare
Genre Drama, Tragedy

Plot Outline

Shakespeare’s darkest tale plays out in a dystopian Scotland brutalised by war. Under a toxic fog, Macbeth begins his tormented struggle for power fuelled by ambition and paranoia.

Claire's Role

Claire Foy played Lady Macbeth, Macbeth’s wife and later Queen of Scotland

External Links


• The play is set 50 years in the future, in an independent Scottish dystopia where the oil and money have run out, and ecological disaster has struck

Quotes from Claire

Why does everyone think she’s evil? My approach to every character is, you essentially want to understand. They always have something they are fighting against. Because James and I are younger, our ideas are relevant to our lives. They have lost a baby, and that’s the catalyst for everything.

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.

I just thought, ‘I will never be able to play any of those [Shakespearean] parts.’ I think that’s because I was putting a block in my head. But I hadn’t really worked for a quite a while, and I was ­getting a bit bored, so I thought I’d prepare a part — ‘Maybe I’ll just do Lady Macbeth.’ Then I got a call from my agent, who said, ‘You’re going to run a mile. It’s Macbeth.’

Quotes from Others

I thought it was extraordinary. Both James McAvoy and Claire Foy gave timeless, peerless performances.
Rafe Spall

Claire Foy tops as Lady M.
Alastair Campbell

Quotes from Reviews

Claire Foy’s Lady Macbeth is a revelation
The Times

Claire Foy as Lady Macbeth suggest both an undertow of grief and the sense that their murderous ambition is some kind of sick compensation for their loss.
The Telegraph

Claire Foy’s excellent Lady Macbeth may seem lucid enough as she persuades her spouse that the throne is his for the taking, but she also hints that Mrs Macbeth is already emotionally unstable even when we first meet her and that her decline, like her husband’s, is inevitable.

Ah yes, the Lady. When she first appears on stage, Claire Foy appears too gentle, too young, and yes, too feminine for the callous power-behind-the-man. After she begs the spirits to unsex her, a cruelness creeps in but intentionally fails to fill her from crown to toe as she so implores. Her viciousness is only skin deep. Her humanity, like the blood that will later haunt her walking dreams, impossible to completely expunge. Her fragility breaks through in her face and wrings emotion from you at her tragic demise, almost against your will. Lloyd, McAvoy and Foy are a powerful trio. When this run is over, we’d happily traipse through thunder, lightning, rain and more unseasonal snow for another meeting with these three. With their Macbeth, they have dragged the still-living, kicking body of Shakespeare’s work into the now.
Digital Spy

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.
The Other Bridge Project

in the case of Claire Foy’s magnetic, wiry Lady Macbeth, that loss seems to have driven her insane.

Lean and taut with purpose, Claire Foy’s Lady Macbeth wastes no time in deliberation, but she never descends into mere briskness. Indeed, long-held stares between her and her husband across the width of the stage convey an acute sense of loss between them – a child, maybe? – and a ravening need for sexual or, at the very least, emotional connection.

If James McAvoy was the perfect Macbeth, there was excellent casting throughout–Lady Macbeth, played by Claire Foy with her pretty, delicate features that contrasted beautifully with the harsh survivor’s instinct of Dystopian Lady Macbeth. For the first time, Lady Macbeth was believable to me as a real human, not a caricature of the sly bitch supporting role that sends Macbeth further along the path the witches revealed to him. Foy perfectly plays her as was a woman of a crumbling world who is, like everyone in that grim place, looking for opportunities to ensure her survival—and that of her husband. Then her exquisite performance as the sleepwalking woman, lost to the rest of us, absorbed in her own hell, tormented by events she set in motion but ultimately could not control.
The American Resident

Foy shows the earnest ambition of Lady Macbeth, without resorting to blunt aggression. An accomplished performance, but one that would have benefited with more contrast between beguiling manipulator and stricken wife, married to a man on the edge of insanity.
The Huffington Post

Claire Foy’s dysfunctional Lady Macbeth – in clodhopping boots and otherwise waifish attire – can taunt for Scotland. She nags the air as if it were her husband. When she talks about how she would smash her newborn baby’s skull rather than break a promise, Foy makes this obscene vignette more shocking than I have ever heard it. But her performance would be more powerful still if it built more – she quivers too soon.
The Guardian

This page was last modified on: March 8, 2013