Review: Macbeth show Robert Anderson
RUFUS Norris has directed a devilishly macabre production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, set in the fallout of a ferocious civil war. This is certainly reflected in the opening scenes as we are witness to a haunting introduction. The movement of the bridge looming over the stage and the contortions of the three witches drew me in absolutely. The supernatural echo to their voices enveloped the fierce theatre in a dreaded silence. This bleak tone is carried throughout and is wholeheartedly the mantra for this production of Macbeth, which advertently reflects in Rae Smith’s set design. Smith’s exploration of a post-apocalyptic wasteland can be a little bit questionable as scenes are covered with suspiciously bin-liner like hangings and bomb shelter interiors that look like they need a good spring clean. It’s industrially ugly. However, the harsh back-drop is remarkably effective in what it sets out to do and works
a treat with the eerie, but booming, musical direction. While in terms of costumes, Duncan and Macbeth’s incongruous red suits wonderfully juxtapose the cast’s bin-salvaged jeans and gaffer taped (don’t ask) breastplates. It’s all certainly striking, catches the senses and perfectly reflects Macbeth’s dreary realities - no matter how down in the dumps it makes you feel. This is where NT’s Macbeth succeeds, the tone and the setting are remarkably harrowing throughout. A particular favourite of mine included the unsettling and voodoo like face-masks alongside the scuttling feet of the demonic witches. I couldn’t help but feel unsettled and intrigued by the ambience and production choices. Yet, I struggled to feel entirely connected to the cast of characters scattered among this tragedy. Although the set design did lend itself to the dusty wasteland setting, it sometimes faltered the impact of powerful moments. The
most delicate of lines that desperately wanted to be drenched in feelings of grief, loss and pain - were performed in what looked like a filthy public toilet. Furthermore, the poetic punch of Shakespearean dialogue can be magnificent when it’s given the right time to breathe and connect with the audience, but most soliloquies felt rushed. They felt entirely unimportant, when it’s definitely the opposite. There’s also a remarkably odd feeling when you bare witness to an apocalyptic society rambling on about hierarchies and grand wars, as if that nonsense mattered. Undoubtedly it does matter, but the clash of the setting and the overtly royal motivations was possibly a step in the wrong direction and feels like Mad Max playing dress up - Mad Macbeth. The ambience and atmosphere of Macbeth is a sight to see but I can’t help but wonder how the director could’ve taken the post-apocalyptic theme even further. It could be time to embrace your inner Mad Max, Norris, em-
Macbeth will be at the Mayflower until the 2nd of March Picture Credit: Brinkhoff Mogenburg
brace it. Macbeth still does succeed in its attempts at showcasing the harrowing presence of paranoia and NT’s production thrives in its choice to make this the priority. There’s a beauty to the end of the show when Macbeth almost lets himself go, and a cathartic moment as he witnesses all the death he’s caused.
The somber tones washed with the post-apocalyptic setting are advantageous and a memorable experience, no matter how much they can occasionally stain the dialogue. 3/5 Stars Macbeth is at The Mayflower Theatre from Tuesday 26 February - Saturday 2 March 2019.
er self, to generations than what the family annew and old with his ticipated – with relationChannel 4 feat. WWE film ships being questioned ‘Fighting with my Family’ and doubts rising to the which officially comes to surface. screens on March 1st. Focusing on her rise The film centres on the to fame, the feel-good true story of British WWE British comedy offers two-time Diva Champithe perfect balance of on ‘Paige’ and her wreshumour and realism. tling-obsessed family. Acting as a reform from The film comes to screens in March Parents, Ricky – an ala life of crime, the film Picture Credit: coholic former criminal, doesn’t shy away from Miguel Discart - Flickr and Julia – a former ad- form as a family across how the wrestling-obdict want their children, the country. Both Saraya sessed family came to Saraya (Paige) and Zak, and her brother are spot- be. Based heavily in the to make a life for them- ted by talent agents and pebble-dashed estates selves in the world of audition for WWE - with of Norwich, the film wrestling and begin a only Saraya coming out touches on the violent family business named successful. But, the real- past of Paige’s workthe World Association of ity of the pro-wrestling ing-class family – but Wrestling (WAW) to per- world becomes more does not once offer a
condescending representation of their situation for the sake of a punchline. Being penned by a co-writer of ‘The Office’, the film is laced with witty one-liners and a sarcastically dry sense of humour - leaving the Southampton cinema in fits of laughter. However, with a realistic sense of the struggle to success, the comedic value isn’t overdone and many moments of the film moved the audience to silence. ultimately this pays off for the feel-good film gaining 4 and a half out of a possible five stars from The Link.
WWE hits the big screen Millie Whittaker
I GREW up with the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) on my screen. Every Sunday my younger brother, sister and I would pile around the TV ready to watch the ever so dramatic sport, The costumes, the bright lights and the blaring music engulfed our imaginations and on numerous occasions we took to the trampoline to fight in our own smack downs and defend our titles. Ten years later, Stephen Merchant has reignited the spark that WWE offered my young-