Icarus Theatre Collective at the Civic Theatre
This muscular Macbeth first took to the stage at the Edinburgh Festival last year. Its great strength is the design: a vast red cloth, dark vertical beams, with blood-red gashes to mark each death on the tyrant's path to power. And a prominent super-moon, eclipsed or overlaid with gore and portents. All underscored with massive music [Theo Holloway].
The show is a little longer than it might be, despite the swift pace, since we have messy skirmishes at the start as well as the end, and we see Banquo's banquet twice, from two angles, either side of the interval. This youthful Banquo's death and resurrection were strikingly done, though, and Matthew Bloxham's performances [he was also the Doctor and a paralytic Northern porter] were among the best. I liked Sophie Brooke's Lady M, wanton, languorous and wild-eyed from the start. She too played many parts; characters became witches or assassins in the swish of a cloak. Joel Gorf was Macbeth. He had a commanding presence, and interacted interestingly with the weird sisters, but whereas some speeches ["is this a dagger"] were impressive, some were garbled or thrown away ["murdered sleep"].
Max Lewendel directed.