06 November 2002
Macbeth Gets Lucky At Box Office
by Paul Webb
Macbeth is a notoriously unlucky play -
both in terms of a reputed ill fortune generally associated with
it (hence the theatrical tradition of
referring to it as 'The Scottish Play', in an attempt to thwart fate) and in terms of being a difficult play to pull off on stage.
Sonia Friedman seems to have neatly sidestepped the general bad luck, and in a spectacular way - Macbeth, starring Sean Bean and Samantha Bond, previewing at the Albery from 7th November, has, backstage whispers tell us, received the largest ever box office advance for any of the ATG-owned theatres, with the sole exception of Madonna in Up For Grabs - a play that was also produced by Sonia Friedman.
Although, as with any production, the real test is the performance not the box office, this bodes very well for Macbeth, as does the casting. Sean Bean has a craggy masculinity that seems ideally suited to the role of an ambitious Scottish aristocrat who overcomes his initial doubts and basic decency in order to murder his way to the throne; while Samantha Bond's cool, intelligent sexuality is perfectly suited to that of Lady Macbeth, whose early ambition gives way, eventually, to a guilt- struck madness.
If you haven't bought a ticket yet then
hurry up and do so, as if the critics like it this will shortly
be one of the must-see plays in the West
End, and tickets will be very hard to get.
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