By William Shakespeare
Song of the Goat Theatre Company
Capitol Theatre, Manchester Metropolitan University
27 October 2010
Despite the Samurai dress and the thrilling swordplay, an allusion surely to Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood, this version of the Scottish play resembles nothing so much as a satanic mass. The tyrant’s armour-bearer would have felt right at home.
True, the swordplay does come into its own, such as on the occasion when Macbeth does his ‘Is this a dagger which I see before me?’ shtick and when he is cut down by Macduff at the end.
Anna Zubrzycki as Lady Macbeth gave the outstanding performance, keening inconsolably over her fallen husband. And Rafal Habel’s quivery, tremulous music contributed considerably to the atmosphere. Peril, treachery, despair: it was all present in the music.
If there is one regret it is that the scene (4.2) where Lady Macduff pleads, ‘I have done no harm’ has apparently been cut from this production. It gives a voice to the victims of violence and war and provides another, much needed perspective on Macbeth’s (mis)deeds. There’s plenty of contemporary resonance to the plea too, of course.
Overall, a definite thumbs-up to this production. It was a rewarding experience.
Macbeth is at the Capitol Theatre until 29 October and then showing in London and Brighton during the bulk of November. Details are here.