Friday 16 February 2024

Macbeth - Review

Dock X, London


Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Simon Godwin

Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma

Something wicked this way has arrived, as the Ralph Fiennes Macbeth concludes its UK tour to play Canada Water’s cavernous Dock X.

Director Simon Godwin and adapter Emily Burns have made some wee snips to the text (the Porter’s not to be seen in this iteration) but in Fiennes’ Macbeth and Indira Varma’s Lady Macbeth are two of the finest takes on this fiendish double act to have been seen in years.

Both leading actors relish the text and breathe a carefully weighted life into every line. The story of Macbeth is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known fables and so for a production to soar when its plot is so familiar demands the highest production values. Fiennes and Varma deliver, giving a humour and a humanity to the text that has been overlooked in recent takes on the Scottish play.

The supporting company are equally fine. Steffan Rhodri’s Banquo is a credible warrior and companion who knows too much about Macbeth’s motives, while Ben Turner as MacDuff is both heartbreaking and impassioned as he avenges the brutal murders of his wife and young children. Above all, the witches are outstanding. Godwin places the weird sisters centre-stage with Lucy Mangan, Danielle Fiamnya and Lola Shalam all enchantingly intriguing.

Only on for a limited run, this oft performed play is rarely played so well. Unmissable.

Runs until 30th March
Photo credit: Marc Brenner

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