Bit from London: MACBETH

by Lynn on July 7, 2013

in The Passionate Playgoer

July 5, 2013 Matinee

At Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London. Written by You know!!! Directed by Eve Best. Designed by Mike Britton. Composed by Olly Fox. Choreographed by Siân Williams and Charlotte Broom. Starring: Bette Bourne, Stuart Bowman, Billy Boyd, Gawn Grainger, Joseph Millson, Samantha Spiro, Finty Williams.

Eve Best is a terrific actress. She has done strong work here in London—for me a splendid Hedda Gabler. On TV people might know her from Nurse Jackie. She has acted at the Globe before, last year in Much Ado About Nothing, which for some reason I missed. Now she tries her hand at directing and it’s a thrilling production of Macbeth. It’s smart, detailed, well paced and beautifully acted. And in Joseph Millson and Samantha Spiro you have a crackerjack Big M and Lady M. They have lust and passion for each other. They are a golden couple. Millson is strapping and possesses the role and has the facility for the language that is needed. Spiro is a diminutive spitfire. Her Lady M eggs Big M on and gives him the courage he needs to kill Duncan, then he shuns her and she is distraught. At the banquet scene Banquo (Billy Boyd) doesn’t just appear, he rushes up to Big M and chases him across the table. Banquo almost puts his hand on Big M. That certainly will give a strong man pause if ghosts are something to be avoided. They fight with axes in the last scene. Very impressive.

Finty Williams is a harsh, cold Lady Macduff. That part usually breaks my heart. But not here. Is it minging to say her parents are the late Michael Williams and Judi Dench? Yes it probably is, but there ya go. And casting Bette Bourne (a fellah, folks) as the Porter is inspired. Mr. Bourne makes a nice living as a cross-dressing actor. Here he plays it ‘straight’ or whatever that means. In the last scene for the final dance and bow, he came on as some kind of Queen character. Couldn’t figure that out, but it was fun.

The quality of the productions at the Globe has improved with artistic director Dominic Dromgoole. That’s a good thing.

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