Macbeth

Macbeth by William Shakespeare
Performances 23rd – 26th May, inclusive, Assembly Roxy beginning at 7:30pm
Tickets £10 Advance (£12 on the door) 

‘It will have blood; they say, blood will have blood’

As the Witches’ prophecies appear to be coming true, Macbeth and Lady Macbeth commit the ultimate act of murder. Once Duncan lies dead and his sons have fled the realm, Macbeth gains the crown he and his wife craved. But the natural order of the world has been destroyed and Macbeth’s reign descends into a hell for all.

The Edinburgh Graduate Theatre Group, EGTG, launches its 2018 season proper with production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, directed by Naomi Wallis-Ryder, whose directorial debut, Contractions by Mike Bartlett, won the Bob Buchanan Salver at the 2017 SCDA One Act Festival Eastern Division. 

Deciding what to direct next was an easy decision for Wallis-Ryder who counts Macbeth as her favourite Shakespeare play, ‘because Shakespeare creates such a vivid and complete world, loaded with nightmarish imagery and deep psychological insight’. She also expresses a passionate belief in challenging what she sees as the constant mischaracterisation of Lady Macbeth in popular culture: ‘I do not seek to redeem her, but I do take issue with the conventional depiction of Lady Macbeth as a manipulative villain, single-handedly pushing her husband to bloody deeds. This is not the case. The text very much describes a pas de deux, a loving couple who know each other so well that they can come to the same conclusion without discussion. I wanted to bring out the humanity in each role. The play may be named Macbeth, but it is definitely powered by both Macbeth and Lady Macbeth equally.’ 

Wallis-Ryder’s minimalist staging allows for the atmospheric main hall of the Assembly Roxy, a converted church, to play its own part in the production. The audience sit where church pews would have been, whilst the building’s stone pillars loom over the machinations of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, the actors moving through the audience to draw them into the conspiracy themselves. 

As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Jacques Kerr and Rhiannon King bring fervent energy and superb chemistry to the roles. They are supported by an excellent cast of EGTG stalwarts and new faces. This production promises to plunge audiences headfirst into Shakespeare’s dark and chaotic world.

Tickets available from assemblyroxy.com 

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