Monday, March 01, 2010


Playing Shakespeare at Shakespeare's Globe


“ Why are the soldiers having a go at us ? ”

The soldiers are the Macbeth company, convincing squaddies all, save perhaps for Andrew Whipp's Duncan, his red coat under his flak jacket. Mingling with the schoolkids in the yard, demanding passes, and, prompting this whinge, forcing one boy to remove his chewing gum and take it to a bin outside.

A very military Macbeth, this one, with camouflage netting, ammo boxes, smoke, a loud explosion to start, and troops down ladders and along wires.

James Garnon's Thane is a pretty upfront character, but manages to quell almost all the noise for his soliloquies. His Lady M is a coldly elegant Claire Cox, with Matt Costain a gaunt Banquo. Russell Layton's Porter is an irascible Security Man, who does his impro with the audience, just as his predecessor must have done in 1611. And Bill Buckhurst's production has many exciting features. The witches – including two dusty death-faced schoolchildren – appearing from under the tables, and the black-silk apparitions: best I've ever seen.
And since this is the Globe, a lively jig to finish this 100 minutes of high octane theatre.

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