Macbeth is a well known play and this production adds an innovative twist that makes it different to any previous version you may have seen.
The use of choreography throughout the play adds another dimension to the action. It is used to make the three witches more sinister and other worldly, with the angles and shapes created looking unnatural. The movement is not confined to these three characters, it is sprinkled throughout the performance and adds a sense of drama and tension. The effects created are memorable
Macbeth is a dark tale and this production reinforces that. The almost black set goes back at an acute angle giving a heightened perspective and a feeling of enclosure. Dressing the men as modern day soldiers dealing with the aftermath of a battle and the method of the murders throughout the play brings a touch of gritty realism to the proceedings. Added to all of this is the stark lighting and huge, eerie shadows created on the walls of the set.
The strong staging is reflected in the performances of the cast. John Heffernan’s Macbeth shows the transformation from loyal soldier to paranoid and maniacal king with conviction. His Lady Macbeth (Anna Maxwell Martin) is equally powerful, her madness scene was beautifully portrayed. All of the cast played their part, each drawing the audience into the story with performances that thrilled and chilled.
Although the movement and style of the production may not sit well with Shakespearian purists, I found it an interesting and intriguing depiction of the story. The effects and images created adding spectacle to the drama of the piece.
Macbeth runs at The REP until 30 January.
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