If you feel sceptical about the idea of
Perfect for someone looking for a family friendly Shakespeare show that will leave them grinning.
This is a fast paced blitz through the best bits of Macbeth. It hits all of the important parts in a manner which is clear enough for those new to Shakespeare, yet innovative enough for those who are more familiar. The show throws some much needed emphasis onto the good guys of the play, giving the ever decreasing collection of them their own great song that would reprise whenever some of them were bumped off.
The cast work well together as a tightly knit team and they were clearly enjoying themselves. Banquo was relishing the opportunity to be a head on a plate. The ensemble’s strong characterisation really holds the whole thing together as they swap though a wide range of loopy characters including angels and devils, inept incomprehensible murderers and ill-suited messengers. Macbeth and Lady Macbeth made a good pair. The brave, roguish and, most importantly, good Macbeth is initially very much under his wife’s thumb, but grows into his position as the lead. Lady Macbeth is the true villain of the whole piece, talking her husband round with some serious henpecking and a heavy dose of Shakespearian/Scottish insults.
The performance and music have managed to marry a sense of irreverence with the power of Shakespeare language. When Macbeth finally gets up to give his big speech, and escapes from his furious soliloquy hating wife, it’s a lovely uplifting moment. I particularly enjoyed the naming of Macduff’s children after other Shakespearian characters, though I suspect that went over the heads of the children. There was also a slightly unsavoury comment to Viola about her dressing in boys clothes, which Viola attempted to respond to but was promptly murdered before she could finish.
However, Brave Macbeth is perfect for someone looking for a family friendly Shakespeare show that will leave them grinning.