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Feature Review - Paul Gladwell

Macbeth

Having seen a fair few William Shakespeare adaptations over the years you are always hoping that the very next one you see will stand out. Is it possible to put yet another spin on Macbeth? It’s not as though a modern re-working hasn’t been attempted before…. Well, this one definitely delivers….

This is Infinite Space Theatre’s first production. They claim to provide 3 elements – The Accessible, The Compelling and The Innovative. This production gets a tick for all 3. Directed by Nick Hastings, this modern re-working of Macbeth is set against the corporate world of ambition, takeovers and greed in the City.

The performance uses various forms of multimedia which really help with the aims of making this performance accessible and innovative. Sky News style TV recordings of the characters are displayed at the back of the theatre on a widescreen TV, music is used for the impact scenes and some of the dialogue forms mobile phone conversations. They have even put together newspaper pages that are on display at the entrance to the theatre and in the programme; a great idea.

Macbeth is ably played by Steven Maddocks. Dressed in his well turned out City suits he convinces as the high-flier seeking to take power from Duncan (Michael Mayne) who is the head of The Royal Bank of Dunsinane. But then struggling to live with the consequences of his actions, Steven ups his performance as the guilt of Macbeth starts to take its toll.

A story centred on corporate takeovers in the city would not be complete without members of the press. The Three Witches are there to stir the pot!

The second half picks up the pace very quickly as things soon start to unravel for Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The paranoia of Lady Macbeth is so apparent thanks to an intense and at times quite scary performance by the brilliant Danielle Stagg.

The Cockpit is a small and intimate venue. The stage (floor really!) is in the middle of the room and the audience can sit around three sides of the square room. At each corner of the room the actors can emerge plus there is a wraparound balcony. The action really does surround you, which this performance really takes advantage of.

I really wanted to give this full marks and I was close. The one gripe was maybe that the performance of Danielle was so good that it eclipsed Steven’s. Should Lady Macbeth outshine Macbeth? I’m not so sure….

Paul Gladwell








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West End Theatre Reviews

Welcome to Theatre Reviews London.

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