Macbeth: Who is That Bloodied Man?
Shakespeare spectacle full of fire and bike chases
This article is from 2007.
Macbeth, like most of Will’s plays, has suffered from many strange interpretations, including a film that transposes the action to a 90s rave and an American theatre version that quite literally strips the characters bare. These wacky interpretations sometimes play poorly, however, as this robust, physical production proves, occasionally it’s worth a try.
Unless you know the story of the man with the vaulting ambition, and his tragic demise, you might be a bit lost, yet the quality of the spectacle is such that it’s watchable even without prior knowledge of the play. With its fantastical non-specific time setting and the backdrop of the imposing old college, the true horror of the original, lost to a desensitised generation, is revealed. Fire, motorbike chases (which might have benefited from a larger performance space), pyrotechnics, stilts, a live opera singer and a large blood-oozing metal disk stimulate our senses, and, as a police car passes the venue, sirens blazing, and fireworks explode courtesy of the Tattoo, so lost is the audience in the created world that nobody even flinches. (Nicola Husband)
Old College Quad, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 16 & 17), 10pm, £11 (£8).