Macbeth (2 stars)

This article is from 2019


A one-man take on Shakespeare's main man

Presented by Korean acting troupe Choin Theatre Company, this retelling of Shakespeare's classic places Macbeth within a frame narrative in which an ambitious actor obsessed with the Scottish play takes on the eponymous character and slowly begins to blur the lines between fiction and reality.

Shakespeare's original play is largely condensed and rewritten in this telling, with only a few of the most iconic lines remaining; instead, the action is largely communicated through monologue, physical movement, and minimal props. Choin are notable for their extraordinary skills in physical theatre and this production is no exception: Macbeth – the only actor ever on stage – moves like a dancer, his performance lending a fluidity and dynamism to the well-known narrative.

Unfortunately, everything else about the production is somewhat confused. The performance is on the more manic side of energetic, which does not entirely lend itself to the sober story, and some of the most fascinating power dynamics surrounding gender and nationalism – crucial to the original play – aren't permitted to unfold in this one-man format. What begins as an interesting concept lacks the execution to carry it through – though not for any lack of talent – and ultimately there is no sense that anything new has been brought to Shakespeare's tale.

C south, until 26 Aug, 6.55pm, £10.50–£12.50 (£8.50–£10.50).


  • 2 stars

Choin Theatre Company (Korea) in association with C theatre In this uniquely Korean retelling of Shakespeare's story, an ambitious actor dreaming of greatness is captivated by the role of Macbeth. Using puppets, music and dance, he embodies Macbeth's story in a chameleonic, humorous, high-octane physical performance. But…