Young Macbeth

This production condenses the entire story of Macbeth into a frantic hour, beginning with Macbeth and Banquo coming across the heath and meeting the witches, and ending with Macbeth’s death and Malcolm’s accession to the throne.

All the parts are played by just three twenty year old actors. Mark Quartley plays Macbeth, Naomi Cranstoun, Lady Macbeth and Jonny Scott plays Duncan. As other characters appear in the play they are performed by one or other of these three. The performers all wear modern street clothes so it is only possible to identify the part each one is playing by the dialogue and the context. The play is very physical; the actors grapple and fight; they spit; bloody hands are really bloody and the blood is left to drip onto the stage.

The performance is gripping from the start and remains so to the very end. It is a tight performance with hardly a moment left to draw breath. In this production, Lady Macbeth is shown, initially, as the strong character and, without her forcing him, Macbeth would probably not kill Duncan. After that however, she rapidly descends into madness and suicide, while Macbeth carries on his bloody killing spree and scarcely notices his wife’s death. At the end, even his own death no longer seems important to him.

All three actors are excellent and work well as an ensemble. Although it might appear to be confusing for each of them to be playing several parts, the audience has no difficulty in differentiating between the various characters. The play is advertised as ‘not suitable for the old or boring’ but this should not be taken too seriously. Anyone with an open mind could not help but enjoy this new look at a classic play.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

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The Blurb

C Too, St Columba’s by the Castle, 13-28 August 1pm (1 hour)

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