National Triumph At Mayflower

27
February
2019

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REVIEW Macbeth National Theatre at Mayflower

Aaah… Macbeth must be back on the English Literature curriculum then, for so it was that the Mayflower was packed with schoolchildren and students to watch this.

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I have loved this play since being introduced to it at school in 1976. My teacher was well into taking us to performances, because he believed that we would always understand a story much better by seeing it.

I always loved the darkness, the ferocity – and characters wondering if they had more than a 50% chance of making it to the end of the play. The National do not disappoint, and seem to have the art of decapitation down to a ‘t’.

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I’m sure those who were there will have felt the same… how Macbeth freezes when he sees the ghost of Banquo, Lady Macbeth’s ‘spot’ routine… or just to see and hear the Three Witches!

They have an active role in climbing up and down the set, which is a triumph in itself. A huge ‘cheese shaped’ wedge moves around the stage to provide all manner of scenarios: a drawbridge here, battlements there…

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Both Kirsty Besterman and Michael Nardone have already secured much praise as they take on Lady Macbeth and Macbeth himself… and everyone else.

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I was particularly impressed with the ‘Out, out, brief candle’ sequence, where Michael held his lifeless love in his arms. It was beautifully done.

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If I had one minor gripe it was the sound… although you could hear this sequence perfectly, much of Act 1 was difficult… the company mustn’t forget they’re already speaking in what to many is a foreign language, and with Scottish accents.

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Much in Act 1 was either garbled or not clear. I don’t know if anything was said during the interval, but it worked. Everything in Act 2 was a triumph.

Kevin Gover