#Review: Macbeth, Playhouse Theatre, Liverpool, 25-29th April, 2023


Madness. Manipulation. Pure Magic!

Overall Rating 5 *****

Imitating The Dog’s modern twist and interpretation of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of Macbeth was as breathtaking as it was inventive!

The audience were immediately captivated by the contemporary setting and modern world that the young Macbeths found themselves in, as gangland lords.  This play evoked an unprecedented high level of empathy for both Macbeth and his good lady, who was portrayed as such throughout the play.  Surprisingly, this adaptation contained an unexpected and drastic twist at the end that deviated dramatically from the original play yet somehow did not detract from the plot.

The weird sisters delivered an outstanding performance with exceptional writing and direction from Andrew Quick and Pete Brooks. The characters wore Joker masks on their faces highlighting their toying sarcastic nature and complete manipulation and goading of the vain, easily swayed, yet ambitious Macbeth. They played an integral role throughout the whole performance as they were not only the play’s narrators, but also interchanged parts such as: Banquo, MacDuff, Malcom, Donalbain, foot soldiers and Lady Macbeth’s guards. Their poetic metred narrations and verse kept the play moving and ensured that the original text was easily understood plus, their commentary on the modern events ensured a tight linked parallel. They epitomised evil, paranormal and everything dark during the time the play was written but also currently relevant to our modern world.

It was a risk that paid off, casting and directing Macbeth and Lady Mcbeth as young characters who were vulnerable and seeking their way in the world whilst juxtaposed with their paranoia and brutality as they socially climbed. Mostly, they appeared frightened and unsure of themselves; having to portray a bravado which endeared them to the audience.  Giving a new slant on their adapted characters. 

Shakespeare stalwarts would still be delighted to find that a strong representation of  language and themes of: jealousy, betrayal, ambition, revenge, power and love were still evident, despite a number of creative liberties that were taken.

Simon Wainwright’ and Davi Callanan’s artistic set design was innovative not only in terms of graphic backdrops but also via video technology that allowed for on stage live filming of characters.  This enabled the audience to watch a duo and sometimes tripod affect performance. 

This is a must see performance which you should endeavour to purchase tickets for…if you can!

You will be left in awe of Initiating The Dog’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition, destiny and downfall as it has a powder-keg of intensity!

Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office or by emailing: boxoffice@everymanplayhouse.com

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