REVIEW: Macbeth @ Everyman 12/05/11

At the press conference back in March, the Everyman artistic director Gemma Bodinetz promised the final in-house production on the Everyman stage (before its demolition and multi million pound rebuilding programme) would be fitting of the theatre. And, as we take our seats for the performance it seems the set lives up to that promise. Rich Denton reviews..

Designed by Francis O’Connor, the futuristic mix of stone, iron and electricity is spellbinding. None more so than when the huge iron door slides open to reveal our first view of Macbeth, fresh from battle. A broken drainpipe overhead soaks David Morrissey as he makes his way forward to the stage.

There are mist covered, water filled potholes in the theatre floor, protruding girders, glitchy buzzing electrics and a twisted wrought iron and concrete staircase. Costume detail too, moves away from the traditional, taking up a Soviet military theme

In her programme notes Gemma Bodinetz discusses her choice of Macbeth to be the final production in the theatre, comparing the play to issues faced in the modern world today: “Here was a play that saw a world turned upside down, where the natural order of the very universe was unhinged by war, personal ambition and tyranny… A play that spoke for now and for all times”

Death indeed filled the play with stabbings, slashings, the dramatic killing of Young Macduff and drowning of his mother raising audible gasps from the audience.

Morrissey delivered the tormented King with an expected passion as he returned to the theatre where he began his career. Julia Ford, who stepped in to replace Jemma Redgrave less than a month ago, played the ambitious Lady Macbeth well.

Star of the future Nathan McMullen shone as one of the ‘weird sisters’, Young Macduff and Fleance. While Richard Bremmer who played King Duncan also brought humour as Porter

With such great attention to detail, it is almost impossible to find fault and perhaps the only thing is that at times some of the complex Shakespeare dialogue struggled to carry through the auditorium.

Gemma Bodinetz, cast and company should be proud of this final Everyman fling, where the production and the theatre space are the true stars.

Macbeth runs until Sat 11th June

Photo: Helen Warner


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