Macbeth - Reviews - Wall Street Journal

Last Update: 09 December 2002

Source: Wall Street Journal
21 November 2002

Sean Bean's a tough Macbeth, but not as tough as his gorgeous wife, Samantha Bond, who rules the roost with a sexually predatory, murderous air. Ed Hall's mean, thrilling production makes many assumptions, all of them perfectly viable.

This soldier knows exactly why he's murdering old King Duncan -- the witches tell him it's his destiny, his wife seduces him into believing it's his destiny, and having Duncan under his roof makes it his destiny. This is a highly sexual production -- the witches are beautiful young women who first seduce him, then give him a prophecy he doesn't like and turn on him. After all, they are witches. And they sing too, in Latin and something else. Bosnian? Sanskrit? Compellingly strange anyway.

Sets, costumes, lighting, though austere, have been carefully arranged for maximum impact. And there are several almost balletic coups, including an initial view of the Weird Sisters -- so entwined they look to be one figure -- and a startlingly red Cardinal who crowns the Macbeths. Unfortunately, with the exception of the two principals and Julian Glover (magisterial in the dual roles of Duncan and the Porter), this "Macbeth" is sadly undercast, but that's not enough reason to stay away.

-- At the Albery Theater; box office 0207 369 1740;

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