- Thom Dibdin
- 16 August 2016
This article is from 2016.
Shakespeare adapted for a young audience without compromising the plots
Whistling in on Tommy Travers' jolly tunes, the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth meet again in Brave Macbeth, Sally Lyall's adaptation of the play for a young audience.
Keeping all the killing and dark motivation intact, this zips through the plot without looking too far beneath the surface. Instead, there is slapstick and the clip-clopping of coconut shells, plenty of running gags and a bundle of catchy tunes.
The youthful company, led by Malcolm Cumming as a properly heroic Macbeth with Katie Lynch brilliantly cruel and vicious as Lady Macbeth, make sure it's the story that counts. Primary school-aged kids will get most out of it, but the general jollity of it all ensures that younger siblings are entertained.
What loses out, though, is the language, as Lyall interprets Shakespeare's more impenetrable lines for a modern audience. However, apart from a disparaging running gag about Macbeth's soliloquies which belittles them without affording redemption, it is all quite justifiable.
This accomplished young Edinburgh company ensure that youngsters will want to come back for a fuller telling of Shakespeare when they are older. And with Brave Macbeth alternating with Cheer Up Hamlet and Romantic Romeo on different days, there are two good reasons to go back sooner.
Gilded Balloon at the Museum, until 29 Aug. 11.30am, £8 (£6).