The Bunker Trilogy: Macbeth

The Bunker Trilogy has transported the world of Shakespeare to the trenches of the first World War. Accordingly, they have converted a theatre in C Nova into a bunker, with soil on the ground and benches lined up. They have chosen to tell the story using the modern trend of the flashback; all of the above is an inventive attempt at making the bard refreshingly new.

This is an abridged, dreamlike rendition of the Scottish play, which will enchant many but leave others rather unsatisfied.

The audience will be split on this immersive front. There are two categories. In this particular performance, Macbeth patted a young woman on the head and she beamed. He also touched a young man’s ear on the line “too terrible to the ear,” and he looked nonplussed. Some people will feel giddy with the rush of inclusion. Some will not. Some will relish the earthy floor, the rustic benches, the fact that the stage is set in the round. Some will simply find it uncomfortable viewing.

Bebe Sanders delivers a rather sweet rendition of Lady Macbeth, while Samuel Donnelly makes a very dapper Macbeth. The acting on the whole is clearly professional, well-executed and consistent. However, one can’t help feeling that despite the new, immersive nature of the event, there is much about the direction that feels very traditional indeed. The elegant, precious treatment of the language, coupled with the background music, gives the whole show more of a fairytale atmosphere than a dramatic premise.

The tension is also lessened in the cutting of the cast down to four. Instead of switching back and forth between the dramatic irony of the public scenes and the intimacy of the private scenes, the audience is left only with the private. This is an abridged, dreamlike rendition of the Scottish play, which will enchant many but leave others rather unsatisfied.

Reviews by Joanna Alpern

Finborough Theatre

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★★★
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★★★★★
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★★★★★
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★★★
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C venues - C nova

The Bunker Trilogy: Macbeth

★★★

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Performances

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The Blurb

An immersive and intense reimagining of the Shakespearean legend. Thrust deep into the heart of the First World War, tormented by witches, hallucinations and apparitions, the warrior prepares for his final battle. Part of The Bunker Trilogy, three classic legends rediscovered in the heart of the Great War. The internationally acclaimed, multi award-winning, sell-out sensation returns to Edinburgh in the centenary year of the First World War. Wonderful' (Stephen Fry). 'Magnificent' ***** (BritishTheatreGuide.com). 'Thrilling' ***** (Skinny). 'Stunning' ***** (BroadwayBaby.com). 'Inspired' ***** (ThreeWeeks). 'Gobsmacking' ***** (Adelaide Advertiser).

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