Clown Macbeth

Makoto Inoue’s non-verbal take on Shakespeare’s classic Macbeth is undoubtedly a feat. Inoue performs the piece alongside Riko Sugama, telling a condensed, 50 minute version of the tale. I cannot imagine that for people unfamiliar with Macbeth that the narrative is particularly clear from the movements of the two performers, but for those who know the plot well, it was a delight to see how the duo interpreted key scenes.

Clown Macbeth is an accomplished piece of physical theatre, which is sure to delight Shakespeare fans.

The contrast between the soft and graceful mime, and the really quite violent moments was wonderful and created a thoroughly arresting production. The various murders throughout Macbeth were surprisingly gruesome, as Inoue contorted himself around a knifepoint. Additionally the banquet scene, which is undoubtedly my favourite part of Macbeth, did not disappoint in the slightest.

The movement was utterly captivating throughout, as Inoue and Sugama draw you into their performance and I found that the lack of speech stopped being noticeable. Through the use of sound effects and music a world is created around the audience, which makes it such an engaging and mesmerising performance. Complementing the sound effects is the lighting – which is simple but highly effective – using the space to its full potential. Clown Macbeth’s biggest strength is the effortless collaboration between the technical aspects of the production with the movements. This alone elevates the show above many other fringe productions with its simple and elegant professionalism.

I am a fan of minimalism on stage and Inoue uses this to its full potential, with three red silks dangling from the ceiling. These are drawn across the stage during the performance, reframing the action beautifully. The silks are incorporated into the story-telling, such as when Sugama depicts Lady Macbeth inebriating Duncan’s guards – one of my favourite points in the show.

Overall this production is well worth seeing. It needs some tightening up in a few places, but this will inevitably come over the course of the Fringe. Clown Macbeth is an accomplished piece of physical theatre, which is sure to delight Shakespeare fans.

Reviews by Marthe de Ferrer

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Clown Macbeth


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The Blurb

Brand new, non-verbal version of Shakespeare's classic Macbeth from award-winning performer and director Makoto Inoue. The show is a physical fusion of Western and Eastern influences and genres taking inspiration from the traditional dances of Okinawa – Japan’s most cultural and spiritual island, and the birthplace of karate. 'Mesmerised' **** ( 'The performances are still dancing in my memory' **** (

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